(a) Exclusion of Evidence of Insurance. Evidence that a person was or was not insured against liability is not admissible upon the issue whether the person or entity acted negligently or otherwise wrongfully.
(b) Limited Admissibility. Evidence that a person or entity was or was not insured may be admissible when offered for a purpose other than liability, including proof of agency, ownership, or control, or bias or prejudice of a witness.
Subsection (a). This subsection is derived from Goldstein v. Gontarz, 364 Mass. 800, 807–814, 309 N.E.2d 196, 202–206 (1974) (extensive discussion of principles and authorities), and Leavitt v. Glick Realty Corp., 362 Mass. 370, 372, 285 N.E.2d 786, 787–788 (1972). The exclusion covers (1) evidence offered by the plaintiff that the defendant is insured, (2) evidence offered by the defendant that the plaintiff has received third-party compensation for an injury, (3) evidence offered by the defendant that he or she is not protected by insurance, and (4) evidence offered by the plaintiff that he or she has no resort to insurance or other coverage for the loss. Goldstein v. Gontarz, 364 Mass. at 808–810, 309 N.E.2d at 202–203.
Subsection (b). This subsection is derived from Fed. R. Evid. 411 and Proposed Mass. R. Evid. 411 and is consistent with Massachusetts law. Evidence of insurance coverage may be admissible where the issue of control over the covered premises is disputed because the jury could properly infer “that the defendants would not have deemed it prudent to secure indemnity insurance on [an area] not within their control, or for the careless management or defective condition of which they could not be held responsible.” Perkins v. Rice, 187 Mass. 28, 30, 72 N.E. 323, 324 (1904). A blanket insurance policy covering more than one location is not, however, admissible to show control. See Camerlin v. Marshall, 411 Mass. 394, 398, 582 N.E.2d 539, 542 (1991).
Evidence of insurance coverage or lack thereof may be admissible to establish the bias of a witness. Goldstein v. Gontarz, 364 Mass. 800, 812, 309 N.E.2d 196, 205 (1974). See Corsetti v. Stone Co., 396 Mass. 1, 16–21, 483 N.E.2d 793, 801–804 (1985); McDaniel v. Pickens, 45 Mass. App. Ct. 63, 66–67, 695 N.E.2d 215, 217–218 (1998); Commonwealth v. Danis, 38 Mass. App. Ct. 968, 968, 650 N.E.2d 802, 803 (1995). See also Masters v. Khuri, 62 Mass. App. Ct. 467, 471–472, 817 N.E.2d 811, 815 (2004); Harris-Lewis v. Mudge, 60 Mass. App. Ct. 480, 487–488, 803 N.E.2d 735, 741–742 (2004).
Inadmissibility Due to Prejudicial Effect. Evidence of an insurance policy may still be excluded where its prejudicial effect substantially outweighs its probative value after contemplating the effectiveness of a limiting instruction. See Goldstein v. Gontarz, 364 Mass. at 812–813, 309 N.E.2d at 205. See also Shore v. Shore, 385 Mass. 529, 530–532, 432 N.E.2d 526, 528 (1982) (appropriate instructions could have cured possible prejudice from excluded evidence of insurance policy). But see McDaniel v. Pickens, 45 Mass. App. Ct. at 70, 695 N.E.2d at 219 (raising but not reaching the issue of “whether jurors have attained to such a level of sophistication that they can take insurance and related things in stride when properly instructed” [citations omitted]).
Collateral Source Rule. Evidence of collateral source payments is generally not admissible to reduce the amount of damages recoverable, but may be admissible if probative of a relevant issue, such as impeaching the plaintiff’s credibility or showing motive. See Corsetti v. Stone Co., 396 Mass. 1, 16–21, 483 N.E.2d 793, 801–804 (1985); Savers Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Admiral Ins. Agency, Inc., 61 Mass. App. Ct. 158, 165–166, 807 N.E.2d 842, 848–849 (2004), and cases cited; Rolanti v. Boston Edison Corp., 33 Mass. App. Ct. 516, 524–525, 603 N.E.2d 211, 218 (1992).
The full amount of a medical or hospital bill is admissible as evidence of the reasonable value of the services rendered to the injured person, even where the amount actually paid by a private or public insurer is less than that amount. The actual amount paid by insurance is not admissible, but the defendant may offer evidence to establish the range of payments accepted by that provider for that particular service. Law v. Griffith, 457 Mass. 349, 353–354, 930 N.E.2d 126, 130–131 (2010). See G. L. c. 233, § 79G. The court may instruct the jury that any amounts paid by insurance are subject to recoupment by the payor. Scott v. Garfield, 454 Mass. 790, 801, 912 N.E.2d 1000, 1010 (2009). The amounts actually paid to the health providers by the health insurer must be redacted on medical bills admitted into evidence. Id.
Unless it is relevant for some other purpose, evidence of a settlement with another defendant is not admissible to reduce the amount of damages, but the court should make the appropriate deduction after the verdict. Morea v. Cosco, Inc., 422 Mass. 601, 603, 664 N.E.2d 822, 824 (1996). In most cases, the verdict in a motor vehicle liability case will be reduced by the amount of any personal injury protection benefits received by the plaintiff. G. L. c. 90, § 34M. In a medical malpractice case, the defendant may, at a postverdict hearing, offer evidence to the court as to the amount of medical bills that have been covered by insurance. The amount of any such bills, less the amount of any premiums paid by the plaintiff for one year prior to the accrual of the cause of action, shall be deducted from the itemized verdict. This procedure does not apply to any payor who has subrogation rights based on any Federal law. G. L. c. 231, § 60G.