Let's say someone is in a car accident, and it's determined that both drivers bear some fault in the accident.

The car is declared a total loss by the driver's insurance company. Also, in the accident, a cell phone that was very expensive, say 1000 dollars is damaged beyond repair.

The insured's insurance company is only willing to pay for the car, minus the deductible. They tell the insured that the phone is not their problem.

Is that legal? The car carried complete coverage including comprehensive, collision, etc. but the phone was damaged by the collision.

  • 1
    If the other driver bears some share of the fault, you may be able to recover a corresponding fraction of the value of the cell phone from him or his insurer. Note that the value of the phone is not necessarily the same as the amount it originally cost, or the price of a new one; it's more like what you could have sold the used one for. Electronics depreciate rapidly in value. May 10, 2019 at 16:37
  • There's the answer I was thinking. Thank you.
    – mark b
    May 12, 2019 at 0:25

2 Answers 2


Comprehensive insurance is generally there to cover repair / replacement for vehicle theft or non-collision damage. There is, additionally, collision insurance which covers losses arising from a collision. The vehicle is what is covered, and not the contents. If you have Valuable Personal Property protection, that may cover the cost of the cell phone.


It's down to the individual policy what they cover but most will generally exclude (emphasis mine):

Radios, CD players, navigation systems, and other equipment not permanently installed in your car


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