How to Conquer the Moving Terminology

You are preparing for a long distance moving process and wisely decided on hiring the professional help of movers. In addition to researching moving companies and collecting free moving quotes, understanding the moving terminology is another task to conquer as part of your preparation.

The residential moving terminology includes key terms which bind the mover and customer in a contract, where one side delivers the required services while the other pays for them. Understanding the moving terminology will clarify the function of the mover and that of the customer in compliance with specific regulations.

Make use of the moving terminology to clarify your rights and responsibilities as well as those of the mover involved. The following list comprises of key moving terms that will help you "decipher" complex moving contracts:

Moving Documents

Bill of Lading: the written contract signed between the moving company and its customer. Read through this document and make sure you understand its terms before signing. The signed bill of laden will serve as a receipt of your belongings.

Inventory: when the moving representative arrives for an in-home inspection of your belongings – he or she will formulate a detailed list of your belongings and their condition, and the services that you have required.

Order for Service: The first document the mover provides the customer with which details the order of the move. Although this document is not a contract, both the mover and customer must sign it before goods can be transported to new destination.


Claim: The consumer's report of lost or damaged goods while under the responsibility of the movers.

Valuation: This is the extent of liability provided by movers and specified in the bill of lading. Moving companies provide three types of valuation: Declared Value, Lump Sum Value (Assessed Value), and Full Value Protection. It is highly recommended to purchase additional insurance to supplement that of the mover for total coverage.

Full Value Protection: a type of valuation that reimburses the customer for lost or damaged items.

Free moving quotes

Estimate, Binding: The customer is bound to a fixed moving rate. If the customer avails of extra services during the actual move, or if the items transported and the distance covered exceeds what were originally declared by the customer then a binding estimate will change.

Estimate, Non-binding: The customer pays for the weight of his shipment or more precisely for every pound a fixed price is charged. The final price will be determined only after the shipment has been weighed. This quote is non binding because depending on the actual weight - price can increase or decrease original offer.

Moving Services

Full Service Mover: a mover that handles each and every part of the move, from packing to loading, driving, unloading and unpacking at the new destination.

C.O.D. (Cash on Delivery): a form of payment that instructs the customer to pay once his or hers belongings have been delivered to the final destination. C.O.D must be agreed upon in advance to moving date.

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