No Coverage – No Defense – No Indemnity

Short, Simple and Direct Decision from the USDC

When an insurer believes it has no coverage for a loss presented it may seek relief from a United States District Court and ask for a decision interpreting the policy.

In Commerce West Insurance Company v. Ignacio Cisneros, et al., Case No. C20-0109-RSM, United States District Court Western District Of Washington At Seattle (May 4, 2020) the Court, after reviewing plaintiff’s complaint, the Motion for Summary Judgment, the Report and Recommendation of Mary Alice Theiler, United States Magistrate Judge, and the remaining record, does hereby find and ORDER:

  1. Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment is granted and the Court finds plaintiff entitled to the following declaratory relief:
  2. the Auto Insurance Policy does not provide coverage to Cisneros in the underlying litigation;
  3. the Homeowner Insurance Policy does not provide coverage to Cisneros in the underlying litigation;
  4. Commerce West does not have a duty to defend Cisneros in the underlying litigation because there is no coverage; and
  5. Commerce West does not have a duty to indemnify Cisneros in the underlying litigation because there is no coverage.


Although courts dealing with insurance coverage issues often write impressive analyses of the policy wording, the underlying facts, and the law on occasion a brilliant judge will simply cut to the chase and in a short, concise and to the point decision creates a simple straight forward opinion that says everything needed to be said.

© 2020 – Barry Zalma

This article, and all of the blog posts on this site, digest and summarize cases published by courts of the various states and the United States.  The court decisions have been modified from the actual language of the court decisions, were condensed for ease of reading, and convey the opinions of the author regarding each case.

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant  specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 52 years in the insurance business. He is available at and

Mr. Zalma is the first recipient of the first annual Claims Magazine/ACE Legend Award.

Over the last 52 years Barry Zalma has dedicated his life to insurance, insurance claims and the need to defeat insurance fraud. He has created the following library of books and other materials to make it possible for insurers and their claims staff to become insurance claims professionals.

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About Barry Zalma

An insurance coverage and claims handling author, consultant and expert witness with more than 48 years of practical and court room experience.
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