MoveGuard Moving Insurance Glossary

Accident, Event, or Happening

An incident that can be identified to have occurred on a specific date and time after the Inception of Coverage date show on the moving insurance policy and before the termination of such coverage.  The "Accident, Event, or Happening" must be the direct cause of loss or damage to the Covered Property.

Act of God

A natural event, not preventable by any human act, such as flood, storms or lightning. Forces of nature over which a carrier has no control, and therefore cannot be held liable. A superhuman cause, such that no reasonable human foresight, prudence, diligence, and care can anticipate and/or prevent.

Actual Cash Value (ACV)

The replacement cost of property minus depreciation. (Actual cash value can also be determined by market value, if any).


1) A properly licensed local moving company authorized to act on behalf of a larger, national company. 
2) An affiliated moving company authorized to act on behalf of a motor carrier. The affiliated moving company (the agent) may serve as the booking agent, the origin agent, the hauling agent and/or the destination agent.
3) A person authorized to transact business for and in the name of another. In addition, see “Foreign Sales Agent”.

All Risk Insurance

The broadest form of insurance coverage available providing all risks of physical loss or damage from any external cause. Does not cover loss or damage due to delay, inherent vice, pre-shipment condition, inadequate packaging or loss of market.


Operating right granted to a motor carrier by the Interstate Commerce Commission or state regulatory body.

Bill of Lading

1) The receipt for goods and the contract for their transportation. A shipper’s signature acknowledges that the goods have been loaded on the moving van and “released to the carrier”.
2) The document issued on behalf of the carrier describing the kind and quantity of goods being shipped, the shipper, the consignee, the ports of loading and discharge and the carrying vessel. It serves as a document of title, a contract of carriage, and a receipt for goods.

Binding/Non-Binding Estimate

1) A binding estimate is an agreement made in advance with the mover that guarantees the total cost of the move based on the quantities and services shown on the estimate. Without any changes from what was seen during the initial in-home survey, this amount should be within 10% of the original estimate.
2) A non-binding estimate is the carrier’s approximation of the cost based on the estimated weight of the shipment and the accessorial services requested. A non-binding estimate is not binding on the carrier and the final charges will be based on the actual weight and tariff provisions in effect.

COD (Cash On Delivery)

Shipments where customer pays moving charges at the time of delivery. For C.O.D. shipments, payment is required in cash, or by traveler’s check, money order, cashier’s check or credit card (pending a prior credit card approval process). Personal checks are generally not accepted for payment of C.O.D. charges.

Carrier’s Liability For Loss or Damage

The amount of liability a Carrier assumes for cargo. There are several different liability options available. Carrier’s Liability For Loss or Damage is often incorrectly referred to as “insurance”

Certificate of Insurance

1) Issued by an insurance company to a party, stating the fact that the party named has insurance coverage.
2) Also evidence of insurance issued to third parties by an insurance agent.

Coinsurance clause

An insurance-to-value provision in many property insurance policies. If the property is underinsured, the coinsurance provision reduces the amount that an insurer will pay for a covered loss.

Concealed Damage

Damage to the contents of a package which shows no sign of external damage.

Cubic Foot

A common measure – 1,728 cubic inches. Also known as a “cube”.

Declared Value

The Limit of Insurance for the Covered Property shown.  This value must be 100% of the actual value of the property.


Department of Transportation


A portion of a covered loss that is not paid by the insurer. The deductible is subtracted from the amount the insurer would otherwise be obligated to pay the insured.


A reduction to the value of an item due to age and use.

Destination Agent

The agent designated in the destination area to be available to assist or provide information to you or the van operator regarding your shipment.

Destination Services

Services provided at the destination of a shipment by a driver, agent or third party such as installing appliances, unpacking, and/or arranging furniture.


A professional assessment as to the van space requirements, weight of household goods and cost of the move determined by the physical visual inspection of a shipment by a representative of the carrier.


Policy provisions that eliminate coverage for specified exposures.

Gross Weight

Weight of the van and its contents after your goods are loaded.

Inherent Vice

Damage caused by the inherent nature of the item insured and not a result of a casualty or external loss. E.G., a manufacturer's defect.


Contractual relationship which exists when one party, for a consideration, agrees to reimburse another for loss caused by specified contingencies.

Interstate Shipments

Shipments moving across state lines or passing through several states.

Intrastate Shipments

Shipments moving within one particular state which do not cross state lines.


1) The detailed descriptive list of goods showing the number and condition of each item.
2) The form that is signed by shipper and driver at origin and again at destination to certify conditions of goods or to note exceptions (missing or damaged items).

Moving Company

A company, agency or vanline that is licensed and registered to conduct business for the purpose of moving and/or storing household goods from one site to another.

Named Insured

The policyholder whose name(s) appears on the declarations page of an insurance policy.

Operating Authority

1) Certification issued by a state or federal governmental entity authorizing a carrier to move goods between designated geographical areas. A van line’s agent may also have its own separate “operating authority” issued by a state or federal governmental entity to move shipments within a certain geographical area.
2) Routes, points and types of traffic that may be served by carrier, authority is granted by state of federal regulatory agencies.


Packed by Owner — Articles packed into cartons or crates by the shipper, not the carrier.


The actual means by which property is damaged or destroyed. Examples include fire, lightning, and theft.

Permanent Storage

Long term storage subject to a storage contract or warehouse receipt between the customer and warehouseman.

Point of Origin

Place at which a shipment is received from the shipper.

Replacement Cost Value (RCV)

The cost to repair or replace property using new materials of like kind and quality with no deduction for depreciation.


The person (customer), or their duly-authorized representative, whose goods are being moved.

Storage In Transit (SIT)

1) Temporary storage of goods in the warehouse of the carrier or carrier’s agent, pending further transportation.
2) Holding a shipment in a carrier’s warehouse, pending further transportation. May be in S.I.T. for a specified number of days before storage becomes “permanent”.
3) Temporary warehouse storage of a shipment pending further transportation.


The procedure by which the insurance company or another entity (after payment of a claim) assumes all of the rights of recovery from any third party.


A booking or origin agent examines (i.e.: surveys, or visually inspects) the shipper’s goods to develop a cost estimate.

Tare Weight

Weight of the van and its contents before your goods are loaded.


The term movers call all types and kinds of trucks used for moving. A van can be as small as a small Econoline pack van or as large as a long trailer pulled by a tractor.

Van Operator

The driver of the vehicle carrying household goods.

Warehouse Facility

A building occupied by the "Moving Company" shown on the Certificate of Insurance where the Covered Property is stored.  For purposes of coverage the Covered Property must be located inside of the designated building, and not in a yard, storage trailer, mini warehouse, or self-storage location.