Everyone uses moving services once in a while, some more so than others. However, very few people are aware of the jargon used in the moving industry. Not knowing these technical moving terms can sometimes get you in a fix and cost you money that you could easily save if you just know what they mean. You can also better negotiate with your movers if you know about the hidden costs and expenses. 

Here are some moving terms you should know. 

Accessorial charges 

Also known as additional charges, this is a term your movers use to explain the added costs you have to pay for their services. It includes any other cost they incur during your moves, such as additional packaging material or any added services they provide for your move. You should ask what those charges are specifically before accepting the bill. 

Bill of lading

Bill of lading is the name of the contract you have with your moving company. You need to read and understand the agreement carefully before you sign it.

Claim from

A claim is an official statement you submit to a moving company if you lose any belongings or goods during transit. File your claim at the earliest to increase the chances of recovering lost items. 

Standard coverage

Standard coverage is the amount you receive from the moving company if they damage any goods during the move. Usually, this amount isn’t much, and if your items are valuable, your moving company won’t cover the cost. Hence, it is better to take additional insurance.

Transit insurance

Transit insurance is the additional insurance you can take on your household belongings while moving houses. It will ensure that you get the value of your belongings if they get damaged or lost in transit. 

Non-allowable list

It is a list of items that the moving company won’t pack or move for you. It includes all the items considered perishable, hazardous, or explosive. Most moving companies will refuse to carry food, alcohol, gasoline, paint, pets, plants, and other such substances that fall under these categories. You can ask your moving company for a non-allowable list when you hire them. 


Valuation refers to the total amount you give to the moving company as the worth of all the belongings you are moving. It is the maximum amount the moving company will be liable for in case of any damage to your belongings during the move. 


The estimate is the approximate cost the moving company gives you after evaluating the belongings that need to be moved and other factors. Usually, companies provide two types of estimates. A binding estimate, which means the cost won’t go beyond it, and a non-binding estimate. The latter usually doesn’t guarantee that the price will be limited to the estimated amount. 

About InterWest Moving & Storage

InterWest Moving & Storage can assist you with all types of relocation services—from packing to unloading. An agent of Atlas Van Lines, we have been delivering high-quality transportation services to our customers since 1956. Apart from residential packing and moving, we also provide domestic and international corporate, art, and government relocation services. You can call our toll-free number (800) 877-1091 to book our assistance and get a free quote.