I have a 2010 Honda Odyssey that was recently involved in a low-speed front-end collision. My vehicle was stopped at the time and it was struck by another that was accelerating from a stop (so I'm guessing < 10 mph at the time of impact). I initially thought that the damage was cosmetic and that my van was driveable. However, about 10-20 minutes after the collision, the van lost electrical power and the engine stopped.
With the vehicle disabled, I had to have it towed to a repair shop. After looking it over, the mechanic reported that he could only find cosmetic damage to my vehicle (i.e. it needs a new bumper and/or some other minor body work). The electrical failure, he says, is due to an alternator failure; he reported that he couldn't find any outwardly visible damage to the alternator or associated wiring to support that the alternator was damaged in the accident. He proposed that I'm just the victim of a poorly-timed coincidence; perhaps the alternator failed in the days leading up to the accident, and it wasn't noticed until after the collision occurred. It's definitely possible that it could have failed (at ~8 years old and ~110k miles of use), but I would expect the probability of failure during that short period of time to be small.
The distinction is important to me; the other driver's insurance company has already stated that they will assume full liability for the collision. If it follows that the alternator was damaged in the accident, then it would be covered; if the conclusion is that it was just unlucky timing, I'm on the hook for that part of the repair. I know that the insurance company has their own adjuster who will do their own examination (so this is perhaps a moot point), but I want to get my facts straight ahead of time.
This brings me to my actual question:
Is it plausible that an alternator could suffer internal damage just from the shock of a low-speed collision? If so, how should I approach the situation moving forward?