California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

5001. Insurance

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You must not consider whether any of the parties in this case has
insurance. The presence or absence of insurance is totally irrelevant.
You must decide this case based only on the law and the evidence.
New September 2003; Revised April 2004
Directions for Use
If this instruction is used, the advisory committee recommends that it be read to the
jury before reading instructions on the substantive law.
Sources and Authority
• Evidence of Insurance Inadmissible. Evidence Code section 1155.
• As a rule, evidence that the defendant has insurance is both irrelevant and
prejudicial to the defendant. (Neumann v. Bishop (1976) 59 Cal.App.3d 451,
469 [130 Cal.Rptr. 786].)
• Generally, evidence that the plaintiff was insured is not admissible under the
“collateral source rule.” (Helfend v. Southern California Rapid Transit Dist.
(1970) 2 Cal.3d 1, 16–18 [84 Cal.Rptr. 173, 465 P.2d 61]; Acosta v. Southern
California Rapid Transit Dist. (1970) 2 Cal.3d 19, 25–26 [84 Cal.Rptr. 184, 465
P.2d 72].)
• Evidence of insurance coverage may be admissible where it is coupled with
other relevant evidence, provided that the probative value of the other evidence
outweighs the prejudicial effect of the mention of insurance. (Blake v. E.
Thompson Petroleum Repair Co., Inc. (1985) 170 Cal.App.3d 823, 831 [216
Cal.Rptr. 568].)
• An instruction to disregard whether a party has insurance may, in some cases,
cure the effect of counsel’s improper reference to insurance. (Scally v. Pacific
Gas & Electric Co. (1972) 23 Cal.App.3d 806, 814 [100 Cal.Rptr. 501].)
Secondary Sources
7 Witkin, California Procedure (4th ed. 1997) Trial, §§ 230–233
Jefferson, California Evidence Benchbook (3d ed. 1997) §§ 34.32–34.36
California Practice Guide: Civil Trials and Evidence, § 5:371