It's not the insurance company that will be doing the repairs; they will pay out whatever the cost is to bring the vehicle back to factory (or pre-damage) specs, then hand you the check or pay the body shop directly.
It's when you select the shop, tell them what changes you want, and so long as it's reasonable, they will perform those modifications with you having to pay for any cost overruns out of pocket.
My front end was damaged due to collision (not my fault) so this was the perfect time for me to switch to the HD/Ltd front bumper assembly. Got the different part number's needed from the dealer and brought that with my truck to the body shop and they will just charge me whatever goes beyond the insurance adjuster's repair estimate, if there is any overage.
Now, in your case, since you want to swap out the entire hood, if the damage only requires "body work" to the hood, well most likely you will have a higher out-of-pocket expense over a "totaled" hood.
The key is to interview for the right body shop that will work with you to accomplish your ultimate goals.
Last edited by Augster; 08-15-2011 at 03:28 PM.