Bring it on PROTECTION

Safety First! Here’s How to Protect Your Property from Burglars

Safety First! Here's How To Protect Your Property From Burglars

Aside from personal robbery, house burglary is one of the most common crimes in the Philippines. Its victims don’t simply lose priceless possessions, they also lose their sense of safety in their own home or in their own neighborhood.

Don’t wait ‘till the burglars step inside your home and you certainly can’t rely your home safety entirely on the authorities. Take it upon yourself to protect your home security by boosting measures and always staying prepared for the worst. Doing these things will allow you to protect your property, possessions, and ultimately, your loved ones.

To sleep soundly at night and for your family’s peace of mind, here are some tips to make your house burglar-resistant:

Tip #1: Don’t Show off Your Possessions

Parking your luxury car on your lawn or displaying your 60” TV near the window will attract not only admirers but also burglars. Keep your expensive belongings safe from prying eyes, especially because you can’t know if someone’s out to find a target in your area. You’d rather be safe than show off and expose your home to danger.

Tip #2: Make Them Think Someone’s at Home

Don’t make it apparent that you’re away, especially if you live alone. Create an illusion that someone’s at home. For example, leave a light on; or you could perhaps program a TV or radio to turn on at specific times. Burglars will think twice before breaking in a house with fully aware people in it.

Tip #3: Install a CCTV camera

Aside from creating the impression that your house is busy, let them know you have one installed in your house. Chances are, burglars would stay away from your house. Also keep in mind to monitor your CCTV camera for any suspicious activities outside your house. CCTVs camera recordings can also be used as evidence in case someone breaks into your house.

Tip #4: Don’t Leave Your Spare Key Outside

This might be the most practical and easiest way to retrieve your house key, but it puts your house at risk of burglary. Someone might’ve seen where you’ve retrieved your keys at some point, making it easy for anyone to break into you house. Give your spare key to a trusted friend or a neighbor instead.

Tip #5: Lock Up

This is the most obvious way to keep your house safe, but many people still forget to do it. Lock up every entry point in your house, may it be the gates, windows, or holes big enough for anyone to squeeze in. Make sure that these locks are not cheap and not easily breakable.

These are basic tips you could do to add up security to your home and you can do a whole lot more. Installing emergency alarms or keeping a dog will also do the trick. But above all, always be vigilant and be extra careful when leaving the house without anyone else in.

To help you secure you home better, MAPFRE INSULAR offers home insurance programs that would insure your family’s financial security in case of house burglary or other house emergencies like fire. For more information, visit their site at:https://www.mapfre.com.ph/insurance-ph/personal/home-insurance/

Home is where the heart is. Click here to get a quote now!

From Car Seat to Driver’s Seat Keeping Kids Safe

From Car Seat to Driver's Seat Keeping Kids Safe

Children are the most vulnerable members of the society. They need adults in their lives to nurture, guide, and protect them from many potential dangers in and outside their homes. Of course, parents want the best for their children and will never allow their children to be hurt, most importantly when on the road.

Before you take your young ones on a road trip or just their schools, keep in mind these several measures to ensure children’s safety in and around cars:

USE APPROPRIATE CHILD SAFETY SEATS AND BOOSTER SEATS

Since seatbelts do not fit perfectly to children, child safety seats are used to properly and safely seat infants and toddlers. Rear-facing safety seats are appropriate for infants aged 2 below. For children aged 2 to 5, front-facing safety seats fit the bill. On the other hand, booster seats are used by children aged 5 above, until seat belts fit properly on them.

Make sure that the safety seat and booster seat is properly installed for maximum safety. Use them even on short journeys.

CHILDREN AGED 12 BELOW SHOULD BE SEATED AT THE BACK SEAT

It’s safest for children to seat at the back seat. There is a high chance that the children hit their heads on dashboard or fly out the windshield during an accident when seated at the front seat, so best prepare for the worst before it even happens.

DON’T SEAT CHILDREN IN FRONT OF AN AIRBAG

Yes, airbags can protect adults during accidents, but children and airbags are a bad mix. Airbags could do more harm than good and may cause serious injury to children upon impact. Remember that children at these ages aren’t as physically-built as adults to endure trauma and may in turn jeopardize them even more. It’s best to seat children at the back seat of the car. They have more room to move around, and are far from the most impact-prone part of the car.

NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN ALONE IN THE CAR OR LOCK THE DOOR WITH A CHILD INSIDE

Never leave them especially on hot days, for it can cause heatstroke, or worse, death of the child. Always check the backseat before leaving and locking the car. Worse, don’t leave them with all the windows up, engine on, because you will be exposing them to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

BE A GOOD EXAMPLE TO THE CHILDREN

Practice the usual safety measures while driving, like wearing your seatbelt at all times and not driving while texting. Children imitate the actions of the adults around them, so provide a good example to them. Drive carefully and with discipline. Not only is your life on the balance, but also your child’s.

PICK A VEHICLE WITH TOP CRASH TEST SETTINGS

You should research different cars’ specifications, especially for accidents and collisions, before deciding to buy a car. It wouldn’t hurt to consult a car expert for their advice regarding which car caters best to children’s safety. Also, when buying a second hand car, always know its full crash history so you could make the correct measures for maintenance and repair.

MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE FULL VIEW OF CHILDREN IN AND AROUND THE CAR

Make sure that they are securely placed in their seats and their seat belts are buckled up while on the road. Also, young kids are most at risk to be involved in back-over crashes because they are hard to spot when they are close to the vehicle, especially if you are driving a high vehicle or an SUV. Because of this, make sure to hold your child’s hand when walking in parking lots.

ALWAYS USE CHILD SAFETY LOCKS

Child safety locks on cars prevent the children from accidentally opening the car door while the vehicle is moving. This could prevent a lot of accidents and injuries in the long run. Check your car’s instruction manual so you can activate its child safety lock. If the car does not have automatic childproof locks, call its manufacturer for more information about these kinds of locks.

ALWAYS CHECK THE CAR BEFORE TRAVELING

It’s an important step to do everytime you leave the house, especially on long road trips. It saves you time, money, effort and most importantly, it saves you and your child from accidents.

But no matter how invested you are in car safety and driving carefully, accidents occur unpredictably. It’s best if you allot some of your resources in securing your and your children’s future with MAPFRE INSULAR’s accident insurance policies. Work with MAPFRE INSULAR and get a quote now at https://www.mapfre.com.ph/insurance-ph/personal/accident-insurance/

Live life in a safe lane. Click here to get a quote!

Traveling Tips For Flying With The Kids

Traveling Tips For Flying With The Kids

Going abroad or out of town is always an adventure, especially when you get to share the experience with your little ones. But travelling with kids can be more challenging than your usual trips. For one, they can get easily bored, especially during flights that last for hours. Potty time can also be difficult to manage.

But of course, nothing can’t be solved by advanced planning. To avoid any mishaps during a flight with your darling kids, keeping these tips in mind might just do the trick:

  1. Child’s Travel Kit

It is important that you carry with you on the plane all the essentials for your child or children’s needs. Make sure that these essentials (food, milk, diapers, etc.) are easily accessible for whenever you may need them.

Tissue, wipes, hand sanitizers and other cleaning items for your child should also be in your bag

  1. Entertainment

Carry with you several toys or objects that can help keep your child entertained. Bring some stickers and paper. Do not bring toys that have small pieces or need to be assembled. There is a high chance of losing or leaving behind some of the parts. You can also encourage your child’s creative side by bringing paper or coloring books, stickers and crayons for their in-flight entertainment.

  1. Food

Avoid, however, bringing sticky or messy food. Bring food that doesn’t need to be held for a long time and stays in your child’s mouth until he or she finishes. Juice boxes should also be in sizes where your child can finish fast to avoid spilling it. You can bring a tumbler or a juice container, but make sure that it is sealed properly. If you are bringing with you more than one child, you should bring small packs for each of the children to make sure they are not fighting over a single bag of snacks.

  1. Technology

Bring portable and durable gadget with you. It could be a cellphone or a tablet. Download a lot of entertaining and educational games or cartoons. If you’re lucky enough, your child will doze off after some time using a gadget.

Another option could be a portable DVD player. Have them watch their favourite animated film that’s bound to last for at least a good two hours. Bring a set of earphones to avoid disturbing other passengers.

  1. Comfort

Also pack with you a pillow to make your child feel more comfortable or better yet, have them fall asleep the whole flight. You can also opt to bring a thin blanket if it won’t make your luggage too bulky since airplanes can be a bit chilly.

  1. Surprise Presents

Give them small gifts in the middle of the flight. This can divert their attention and get them excited with their shiny new toy. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive, just something that you know they’ll be interested in. For instance, one of those toys that come with meals in fast food chains. Those kinds of toys are usually portable and is just one whole piece like a doll or a small action figure.

  1. Pack Light

If it’s possible, only have one bag to carry on the plane so that you don’t have your hands full. You may opt to have your kid carry his or her own backpack. This will let you have more space, and lets your children have the feeling of being self-reliant.

Also, you will need at least one hand to hold your child. Your touch is the biggest source of comfort for them.

  1. Orientation

Before the trip, explain to your child the security procedures of the airport so they won’t freak out once you are there. To help introduce some discipline to your child, let them be aware of authoritative figures at the airport and the plane who are on the lookout for misbehaving children.

Make them wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on in case security makes them take it off. Landing and take-off can be a little scary for your child. Explain to them even before the plane ride what will happen. Give them a drink or something to put in their mouth to distract them.

  1. Before Boarding

While waiting to board the plane, let the children walk around and play under your parental guidance. This is an opportunity to let them use up some of their energy because they will be sitting down the entire flight. Make sure they have used the toilet and have a fresh set of diapers (if they still wear one) before getting on the plane.

Take advantage of early boarding. Let the attendants know that you need extra time to board. This way you can settle your children before there are other passengers inside the plane.

Be prepared when flying with your children, most especially if it’s their first time. Long plane rides can be fun for the kids and a great bonding opportunity with them.

But to share an even more enjoyable and stress-free travelling experience with your kids, wherever your destination is, go the extra mile by availing of a travel insurance policy from a trusted insurance provider like MAPFRE INSULAR.

Visit MAPFRE INSULAR’s website at www.mapfre.com.ph and explore your options to know how MAPFRE can help you make more wonderful memories with your loved ones.

Enjoy your adventure with the kids. Get a quote now! Click here.

A definitive guide to securing a building permit for your new house. You’re welcome!

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Picture this; your dream home. Looking at your temporarily empty lot, you are now ready and able to build that house you have always wanted. You have a list of all the important things you have to consider: the color scheme, how many rooms should it have, should the dining room be beside the kitchen or the living room and where can my loved ones hang out so you can bond together. You can visually imagine what your new home will look like.

For your dream house to become reality, the first thing you need to do is to, well, build it. However, you can’t just go around and start building houses without securing the proper permits, or else you will risk stopping construction midway.

Feeling lost? We’ll guide you through the entire process.

To get a building permit, the first place you’ll need to visit is your city or municipal hall where you will find the Office of the Building Official. This is where you will get a checklist of all the things you need to secure a building permit. One of the things you’ll need to provide, which you will find included in the checklist, is the Proof of Property. This basically contains the documents that say the land is all yours to build a house on. A photocopy of your Transfer Certificate Title, Current Tax Receipt and Certified True Copy of your Tax Declaration of Property-lot will suffice as Proof of Property.

You can’t build your dream house on your own. You will need an architect, a master plumber and engineers with different specializations at your side. You will need them to provide photocopies of their PTR numbers and PRC licenses to make sure they are all legitimate. They will also be the ones to fill up your Building Permit Form, Electrical Permit Form, Sanitary Permit Form, Complete Sets of Detailed Plans and Bill of Materials and Specification.

Lastly, you will need a Permit Billboard, which you will put up on the construction site of your dream house, and a Location Clearance, to guarantee that the site is safe to build your dream house on. There are other forms that you will need to secure depending on the design of your house (like how many floors it will have) and if you own the lot where your dream house will stand.

Once you have all these, you can submit them back to the Office of the Building Official.

Next, you will go to the Assessor’s Office of your city or municipal hall. They will in turn give you an Acknowledgement Slip. This slip contains the date and status of your application. Once it has been approved, you will get an Order of Payment for the fees. These fees vary depending on the design and location of your dream home.

After paying for the fees at the Treasurer’s Office, you will get an Official Receipt. Bring a copy of the receipt to the Office of the Building. Finally, you can now claim your Building Permit.

Now you’re all set to start building your dream house. Whatever size, color or shape it will be, as long as your heart is there, its home. And to make everyday living even more worthwhile, a trusted home insurance partner like MAPFRE INSULAR is what you need to secure you and your assets.

Find out how MAPFRE can help you make the most out of your dream home by visiting their website: www.mapfre.com.ph

Protect your home. Protect your family. Get a quote now! Click here.

You Won’t Believe How Much You Can Save On Car Insurance By Following These 12 Tips!

How-Much-You-Can-Save-On-Car-Insurance-By-Following-These-12-Tips!

A car insurance doesn’t just protect your car. It’s there to protect you, your finances, along with your loved ones who might be involved in the unexpected with you.

Sadly, the common notion about car insurances is that they’re only additional costly expenditures. Some owners even go as far as thinking that they can manage without getting one by being careful.

But what they don’t realize is they don’t have to be so expensive, and the main reason why insurance policies exist in the first place, is to help individuals settle financial troubles in case the unexpected happens.

Best of all, there are tricks to make sure your insurance works for you financially. They can even help you save money, too!

  1. Affordable car means affordable insurance

A high end luxury car looks good. However, its price isn’t the only that’s going to be expensive, but its insurance as well. The model of your car is one of the first things insurers look at for replacement and repair costs. This means the more economic your car is, the more economic your insurance will be.

  1. Choose your needed coverage

Know what types of policies the insurance company offers. After knowing what the company offers, decide which package is responsive to your current needs, lifestyle and budget. Buy only the coverage you need for the vehicles that need it. Getting an insurance deserves the time and energy it takes to comprehend the intricacies and details that make up your own individual situation.

Make sure that all your concerns are covered, and only work with an insurance professional who takes the time to answer your questions.

  1. History matters

Insurers may charge a higher premium if you have had claims before. The higher the damages were, the higher the rates will be. Multiple small claims also have a bearing so you might want to take it easy on the minor claims.

  1. Safety measures

You’re getting an insurance to have protection so why not take it to the extra mile by having some safety and anti-theft features installed in your car. This not only lowers the chances of you getting into mishap, but also makes your insurer feel that you are a safe driver. Remember: Insurance companies recognize responsible drivers.

  1. Once is enough

Rates are usually lower if you opt to pay your premium in full. While you still have the option to pay in installments, you will have to shoulder extra financing cost by extending the terms of payment, thus, more money going out of your pocket.

  1. The bigger the better

The deductible is the amount you are willing to shell out before your insurance company covers any of your expenses, and getting a higher deductible will reduce your insurance premium. However, it will require you to pay more in the event that you do make a claim so obviously, this trick works best if you are a responsible driver.

  1. Get more value for your money

Aside from finding out what discounts are available to you, also check if your insurance provider offers free membership roadside assistance program that includes towing, minor repair service, etc. in case your vehicle breaks down while on the road. This definitely spells savings that will be staying in your wallet because you won’t be bothered by these small inconveniences any longer.

Although it will protect you from financial loss due to injuries and damages, a car insurance is not a license to be a reckless driver. Buying a car involves your utmost commitment not just in maintaining its good running condition, but also to be a responsible driver. Remember than one reckless move can result in injuries to you, your passengers and even pedestrians—not to mention expensive damage to property.

Becoming aware of all these things, and seeking the regular advice of a trusted insurance partner like MAPFRE INSULAR can provide you better coverage and save you money down the road. If you’re interested in protecting your assets, get a quote now by visiting MAPFRE INSULAR’s website: www.mapfre.com.ph

Keep your eyes on the road and drive safely. Get a quote now! Click here.

15 Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling Solo

Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling Solo

Traveling on your own can be very rewarding, and for weary souls who need to take a break, it’s a great way to know yourself better. It may be a bit lonely and uncomfortable at first, but eventually, you will come to appreciate the core of traveling and how it transform you in unusual situations.

When you travel unaccompanied, you will be more focused on the place you’re in.  You will also be on your own terms—going about your journey according to your own preferences.

As attractive as it may sound, traveling solo also means you won’t have a back-up person to rely on in case you encounter stressful circumstances as you go along with your trip, which, if you’re not careful, can also pose some danger. This is one of the reasons why many get put off by the idea. But of course, there’s a workaround.

To help you get the most out of your solo trip, it wouldn’t hurt to keep these common 15 mistakes solo travelers commit in mind:

  1. Too much luggage

Instead of going crazy over which pieces of clothing would match your destination, why not pay attention to packing smartly and lightly? You only need to bring essentials to allow you to manage and keep an eye on your luggages at all times. Too much load also slows you down, and will wear you out quickly.

It also helps if you plan your itinerary before the flight so that you’d know which specific items to pack. Some plain shirts, a rain jacket, a pair of jeans, a comfy sweater, swimming pants, underwear for a week are sound about right.

  1. Not carrying emergency medicines and numbers

Your body is adjusting to a different place, and maybe a different climate—not to mention the fatigue from all that traveling so there’s a chance that these adjustments might manifest physically. Carry your own first-aid box with basic medicines like aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen, as well as other materials like cotton, adhesive and bandages in case of a health emergency. These will also save you additional medical expenses.

Also, always put your best foot forward before you depart for a foreign country. Keep notes of important contact details such emergency numbers, local consulate and embassy addresses.

  1. Keeping your documents unsecure

Naturally, immigration officials are watchful of tourists going in and out their countries. And since you are a traveler, keeping your documents accessible will help you well in case you get stuck in sticky situations.

Photocopy your documents and make sure to leave some at your home. Separate the original from the copies and secure them at all times. The last thing you want to happen is to be a victim of identity theft in a foreign land with no way to defend yourself.

  1. Forgetting to make reservations

Standing in long lines is a drag, but standing in long lines alone is almost unendurable. If you are going to popular attractions, museums or anywhere else that will require some waiting, securing online reservations ahead of time to places you’d like to visit will do the trick.

  1. Losing connection with family

Keep your family and friends updated. Tell them if you’re going on a road trip or if you’re already at the hotel or apartment just to let them know that you are safely arrived. This way, they’d know how to track you down in case of emergencies.

  1. Feeling shy

Just because you’re travelling, doesn’t mean you have to be by yourself all throughout your journey. Connecting with different people and immersing in diverse cultures are what make travelling a rewarding experience.

Take the time to connect with other travelers from which you could hopefully pick up some advice. Meet some locals also. They are experts of the things you are unfamiliar with but still be wary of sharing too much information with them. Make new friends, but use good judgement. You can never too sure about who you are dealing with.

  1. Keeping ALL your money in one place

God forbid your wallet gets stolen with all your travel money inside. Still, it’s good to put your best foot forward in this situation by not stashing them all together. Instead, place your money in several compartments. More than carrying a credit card, it’s best for you to use cash at all times. Do not bring large amount of money while on the road and keep your emergency back-up funds in a separate.

  1. Traveling to your destination without some homework

This is basically “going to battle unarmed”. Sure, part of the reason why you’re doing solo travel in the first place is because of spontaneity and discovering  things about the place as the days pass can add up to the thrill, but you’re risking more than you bargained for in terms of budget and safety.

Do your research and make appropriate plans. Introduce the city to yourself because this is where you’d be spending some time alone. The more you know, the more you’d feel confident and secure about your trip.

  1. Limiting and rushing yourself

You have all the time to do whatever you want. Explore activities you haven’t done before. Discover new delicacies to satisfy your cravings. Enjoy where you are staying and take in as much of it as you can. Stop the rushing and begin taking the time to relax and see what each place has to offer.

  1. Keeping your stuff unattended

Be aware of your bag or luggage most especially when you’re in a crowded place. Keep all your important items such as phone, passport, camera and wallet all in one place and not leave them out of your sight.

  1. Going to dark places

It is better to go in a public place. Remember that you are alone in a place you’re not familiar with and there’s no guarantee that people will notice if something bad happened to you. Never forget to update your immediate family and friends wherever you may go.

  1. Overdressing

Dress appropriately and comfortably. Avoid wearing flashy jewelries as they naturally attract attention—both wanted and unwanted. Err on the side of safety by dressing modestly to prevent getting attention from wandering eyes.

  1. Not trusting your gut feeling

When it comes to safety, to go with your internal instincts. If you’re a bit suspicious of the place you’re going or person you’re interacting with, then leave.

  1. Being intoxicated in public

Enjoying yourself is different from pushing your limits. Drinking too much

It’s never a good idea to become intoxicated in public. But when traveling solo, it can be an expensive, even dangerous experience. Keep in mind that public drunkenness results in a variety of fines and punishments around the world, and some of them are far more serious than you can imagine.

If you pop in at a bar for an evening tipple, try to avoid getting too drunk. Limit your alcohol intake as there may not be anybody to take care of you.

  1. Not having a travel insurance

We couldn’t stress enough how inconvenient thing might happen when you travel that’s why purchasing travel insurance is a worthy expenditure. It will cover emergency medical expenses and baggage loss and delay, and recover at least some of the cost of your trip if your vacation has to be cancelled.

Travel insurance will be your partner, and youcan count on it to look out for you since you’re going on a trip alone. Keep and always carry a copy of your insurance in your luggage everywhere you go.

Solo travel is a liberating experience. There is nothing more exciting than being the master of your own intuitions and being able to go to the destination of your choice, fulfill your bucket list and escape the humdrum and humbug of your routine life. But remember that in every journey, you will run into inconveniences when you least expect them to.

This is why it pays to be alert should you decide to take on this experience, and a trusted travel insurance partner will leave you worry-free to explore the world. MAPFRE INSULAR  offers superior travel insurance packages to provide assistance to you, anytime and anywhere in the world you may be.

To help you decide what suits your travel needs, visit the MAPFRE website athttps://www.mapfre.com.ph/.

Protect yourself while enjoying yourself. Get a quote now!

Home owners insurance: Covered? Don’t be so sure

Home-owners-insurance-Covered-Don't-be-so-sure

Your home protects you and your family. It’s where you share your precious times together.  It keeps you warm at night and serves as shelter for the storms. But sometimes, storms can get too strong and can cause massive damages to you humble abode.

Accidents and natural disasters are beyond your control. You can, however, be prepared for them and protect your family. Getting home insurance will provide just that.

People sometimes fail to see how practical and important it is to have house insurance. In fact, there’s a handful made available in the Philippines you can choose from. And if you do have insurance, did you check the coverage and benefits?

  1. Basic Insurance

The accident that most houses are prone to is fire. Standard insurance policies often include fire in their coverage. This is usually the most affordable type of insurance. It also includes lightning.

If a sudden fire or lightning hits your home, you will not need to panic with the finances.

  1. Basic Insurance with Additional Benefits

This insurance also covers fire and lightning, but it includes support as well, as it offers added financial aid. Benefits include medical and relocation allowance, legal assistance and bereavement support.

This type will make it will easier for you to recover from the damages and loss due to fire and lightning.

  1. Comprehensive Insurance

The Philippines is along the pacific ring of fire. This makes it prone to massive earthquakes. It is also a country that experiences extremely strong typhoons and flood like Ondoy and Yolanda, being the archipelago that it is.

To cover devastating losses from any acts of nature that could happen, like earthquakes or flood, opt for the comprehensive insurance plan. This insurance plan offers a broader coverage because aside from natural calamities in the basic packages, your home will also be protected from other perils such as explosions, falling aircraft, fire and even vehicle impact. It also covers accidental water breakage and robberies. With the comprehensive insurance plan, your home will be protected plus you will get extra financial benefits.

Aside from all these, comprehensive plans may come with personal liability coverage.

  1. Comprehensive Personal Liability

In the event that there are other people affected when an accident happens in your home, this insurance plan will protect you from liabilities.

Get the insurance plan that will protect your home and your family entirely. Check the extent of the coverage of the insurances to make sure that you get what you really need. There is no telling when natural calamities or accidents will strike. If the unfortunate event happens, the best course of action is being prepared.

Make sure that you’re covered, MAPFRE INSULAR offers home insurance packages that include the mentioned coverages. Learn more about home insurances through visiting the MAPFRE INSULAR website: www.mapfre.com.ph.

Protect your family. Protect your home.

10 Things to Consider When Buying a Car

10 Things to Consider When Buying a Car

Buying a car is nowhere near like buying a candy from the store. It’s a major expenditure that will put a dent in your savings. Now, granted you may have already fallen in love with a car you’ve probably seen in a magazine, you can’t just sign the papers and take it home without carefully examining it carefully and weighing your options.  You have several things to take into consideration before finally purchasing. This way, you will be confident that you made the right decision, thus making the expenditure worthwhile.

So to avoid a bad and expensive buy, consider these things when buying a car:

Budget

Take a look at your budget. Determine whether it’s enough to buy a brand new car and pay for a its insurance. Aside from that, you will also have to allot a portion of your monthly allowance for other car-related expenses like gas and maintenance.

Take advantage of available discounts and try your best to research them all. By considering what you can afford first and foremost, you can now start narrowing down your choices.

Brand

Have your own research of the brands and the experiences of their customers to have an idea how they have sustained their reputations in this industry. Make a list of each car brand that matches your criteria.

Available features

Every model year, manufacturers add and adapt technologies to improve their vehicles’ performance and outlook. Study carefully the available features of your option.

Luggage Space

It is always an advantage to have adequate space for your luggage, especially when your job requires you to carry lots of things.

Safety features

There are huge numbers of car-related accidents every year. It is smart to inspect how safe your car is to ensure that your family is protected from any danger. Basic safety measures that you should look for are seat belts, air bags, head injury protection, anti-lock brake system and stability controls.

Fuel Type and Efficiency

Diesel fuel is always cheaper than gas, but they are typically louder than the latter. Diesel is also a dirty fuel and causes dirty emissions. But take note that whatever type of fuel a car is using, the one that is fuel-efficient leads to fuel-cost savings.

Seating capacity and comfort

Unless you’re single, consider your family size in choosing a car. It is best the no one is left out when going on an out-of-town trip. Notice also how comfortable the seats are to ensure ease during long drives and traffic.

Dealership

Make sure that you are comfortable with the dealer you are trying to purchase your car from to avoid rough conversations. A good buyer-dealer relationship will lead you to having your car that way you wanted it to be.

Add-on Charges

Some car dealers rely on the sale of add-ons to maximize the profit that they make on your auto purchase. Don’t be easily swayed by your dealer’s sales talk because more than not, these add-ons do not provide the promised value. Go to your local dealer equipped with enough research and don’t hesitate to ask questions regarding additional packages you want for your car.

Inspect and Test Drive

Inspect everything from inside and out before taking possession of the car. Make sure that everything is in place. A test-drive is the best way to find out how a new car looks, feels and drives. Take it on the road by yourself, then with your family on a follow-up test drive. This will give you the opportunity to know whether everything and everyone fit comfortably.

Buying a car should never be an impulse buy. It’s a costly undertaking, that’s why you should be intelligent in making your final decision.  Do your research, know how much you can spend ahead of time and take your time. This will put you on the best footing to avoid an expensive and regrettable purchase.

A trusted insurance partner will also give you the confidence to drive your new car anywhere, anytime. To find an insurance solution that’s perfect for you, visit the MAPFRE INSULAR website at www.mapfre.com.ph.

Things You Need To Know To Maintain Your Car

Things You Need To Know To Maintain a Car

Taking care of your car is like guarding your life. Nobody wants to encounter problems, worse, accidents while on vacation, a joyride, or running daily errands, right? Ensuring your vehicle’s performance will make it safer, reliable and dependable for you and your family. The habit of making sure your every aspect is fully- functioning and systems are in tip-top share, you will able to reduce the risk of accidents. You can also can minimize your repair costs in the future, boosts performance and keep its value if you have any plans on reselling it.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind for your car maintenance:

Have it checked regularly.

Inspecting your car will help you find out issues that need some fixing. Check if the fluid levels are correct, your battery is not leaking, cabin and engine filters are replaced and windshield wipers are working properly. Everything with moving parts need grease to survive. Other important components that need attention are spark plugs and cables, headlight, turn signals and brake lamps.

Keep it washed.

Our car is constantly subjected to the sun’s heat, rain, sand and smog that can cause corrosion of dust and dirt. Regularly washing it will prevent the car’s exterior from decaying and the brakes and other undercarriage components rust-free. Car waxing can also protect the paint and keep it shiny. Keep your interiors clean and dry to keep off the formation of bad odor. An uncleaned cabin filter can also cause an unpleasant smell so make sure to take care of that as well.

Change oil regularly.

You should know how to check your oil using a dipstick or through looking for an electronic gauge if it’s needed to be changed already. Having the oil changed regularly will keep the engine clean inside. You have to maintain it between minimum and maximum lines because high oil consumption can cause engine problems. Change out transmission and differential oils. While not requiring frequent service, these fluids must be changed according to service intervals. Always use transmission fluid or gear oil of the recommended type and viscosity.

You can consult with the your car’s manual to know how often to change oil.

Keep the tires inflated.

A tire is a vital component of your car since it provides a comfortable and safe ride for you and your passengers. Check your tire pressure regularly because low tire pressure means poor gas mileage and reduced tire efficiency — and those spell accidents.

Make sure that the tires are rotated, balanced and properly aligned so you can drive smoothly. Improper wheel alignment causes increased tire and poor handling while over inflated tire can cause damage to steering and suspension components. Also keep a spare tire, in case of emergency.

Know your car.

The best way to know, understand and know more about your car is the owner’s manual. Take time to read it because it contains detailed and comprehensive information about your vehicle’s features, details on how the major components work, technical details on the engine and the weight and capacity of the vehicle, and of course, instructions on your car care and maintenance.

These are just the basic car maintenance hacks to help keep your car in good mechanical condition. Of course, it will also help if you don’t wear your vehicle from overuse and accidents.

But let’s face it: you can only do so much for your car. Some things are best left to experts since they’re the ones with adequate technical knowledge and equipment to properly examine your car and executing repairs. If you sense that something’s definitely odd, take it to your auto tech immediately. It’s better to shell out less money now than allow the situation to worsen and taking a bigger cut out of your budget.

Along with being equipped with the basics of car maintenance, a reliable auto insurance provider will also help you keep your car in tip-top condition for a very long time. With MAPFRE INSULAR’s help, you can get a comprehensive package that can include liability coverage, protect your vehicle from damages, and from other events. We put value on your property just as much as you do.

Visit www.mapfre.com.ph and get a free car insurance quote today.

Japan Vacation on a Usual Boracay Budget: How to do it?

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The world is fascinated with Japan. Its culture, technology and beauty are just some of the things that lure many tourists to experience its wonders first-hand.

But for some frequent travelers, the “Land of the Rising Sun” is notorious for its high-cost expenses that many put off visiting the country for fear that their wallets may not be able to survive the trip. Some even opt to just spend their vacations on more budget-friendly local beach destinations like Boracay or Puerto Galera.

This is where we come to the rescue: what many don’t realize is that traveling to Japan is as hackable as any other place and we’ve got just the tips you need!

So keep calm and bear these smart travel tips to set you off to your dream Japan get-away economical:

  1. TRAVEL DURING OFF SEASONS

Save a bundle of peso when you schedule your trip during off-season, which starts every late autumn in March, because it is expected that there are only few people which means fewer costs. Avoid travelling to the country around April and mid-November because this is usually their peak-season which means, peak hotel rates too.

  1. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AIRFARE PROMOS

Different airlines are now becoming more competitive in the market by offering the lowest of the low fare rates. During piso fare promos, tickets to Japan can go as low as P6000!

The trick here, though, is to act quickly. As soon as you see the promo announcement online, book immediately. Usually, the travel period is still several months away, biding you more time to save on pocket money.

  1. HUNT FOR AFFORDABLE ACCOMMODATION

Accommodation will get the biggest cut out of your travel budget but being the innovative country that it is, Japan has conceptualized capsule hotels for budget travelers. These are similar to dorms, except the beds are in enclosed boxes. You can also find plenty of hostels offering affordable rates online so it’s best to do your research first.

  1. AVOID RIDING A TAXI

When arriving in Japan, it is not advisable to take a taxi since they have the reputation of being the most expensive cabs in the world. In fact, there is a myriad of rail and bus options that could take you to many hotels and train stations in the country.

  1. TAKE THE TRAIN FOR SHORT AND LONG DISTANCE TRAVELS

Fast, efficient, and cheap. It is basically the best mode of travel in Japan. Short distances will just cost you 120 yen to 1,200 yen for long distances.

  1. DINE AT JAPANESE FAST FOOD CHAINS

Unlike fast food chains in the Philippines who get a bad rep for being unhealthy, the Japanese counterparts are actually kind of nice. The fast food there means steaming bowls of rice, savory meats, crispy dumplings, miso soup, sometimes with a side of green tea.

For other cheap eats, they also have “button” style restaurants where you simply select and pay for your meal based on the photos and prices listed on vendo-looking machine. You just bring the receipt to the cook and voila! You can also check out Japanese street food and market for tasty and affordable finds.

  1. IF YOU GET THE CHANCE, TRY VOLUNTOURING

Some friendly locals from different cities in Japan offer free tours to tourists in exchange for English lessons. Probably the only thing you need to pay are entrance fees for the places you are visiting, and maybe a lunch or “meryenda treat” for the guide.

  1. DISCOVER FREE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

Japan would totally leave you in awe without letting you spend a yen just by seeing their beautiful architectures, ancient Shinto shrines, markets and urban living.

  1. WANDER AND WALK

If your schedule is not tight, take a walk at the streets and imbibe the local culture. It will allow you to interact with the locals more and you might also pass by stores where good gifts or “pasalubongs” that can be bought cheaply.

Getting around the beautiful Japan or anywhere in the world, basically, doesn’t have to take a toll on your expenses. Travelling is about enriching your soul by opening yourself to new experiences and worldviews. Try not to act less as a tourist and, as they say, do what the romans do.

There you have it, folks! Hopefully these tips will inspire you to visit Japan in the future.

Happy travelling!

Why Do Cars Suddenly Catch Fire? Experts Offer Possible Reasons

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While enjoying a drive down the highway, the last thing anyone wants is to suddenly see smoke rising up from their car engine. This might be a scary thought, but vehicle fires happen more frequently than a lot of people realize—and definitely one of the deadliest emergencies that can happen on the road.

In the US, vehicle fires account for about 20 percent of all reported fires, according to their National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). There has yet to be a published study on automobile fires in the Philippines but the general idea is that it can happen anytime, anywhere.

Aside from serious or fatal injuries, a burning car is also a significant loss of investment so it’s essential everyone becomes aware of the top common causes of vehicle fires. The more you understand how these fires occur, the more likely you will be able to stay safe on the road.

Design Flaws

We often hear news of certain car models that seem to be involved in accidents and in some cases, catch fire, more than usual. Auto manufacturers who become aware of this design or mechanical flaw typically issue a recall so owners can be notified of the possible danger and have their units fixed for free.

If by any chance you receive news of a possible recall, it’s best that you act immediately and contact your dealer for assistance.

Poor Maintenance

Using your car with broken parts, leaky seals, or faulty wiring without repairs can put you in danger. It’s a simple principle: the less maintained your car is, the higher the risk of igniting flames.

Car Crashes

Collision can lead cars to spark fire. The high heat caused by the hard impact level when combined with the vehicle’s fluid leaks will react violently with each other. So in the event of a car crash, the driver and passengers are advised to get away as soon as possible to keep away from danger damaged cars might bring.

Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Batteries

Battery-related problems have plagued hybrid cars and electric vehicles for years. This usually occurs due to the leaking coolant interacted with the damaged batteries.

While car manufacturers continue to redesign their battery packs, risks still remain that may cause cars to set ablaze.

Overheating Engines

Mechanical attention is imperative for overheating engines, because if left neglected, it could make the car’s internal fluids like oil and coolant to rise to dangerous temperatures and begin to spill out from their designated area of circulation. If this happens, these fluids would drip, drizzle, and spurt all throughout the engine bay and onto the exhaust system, landing on other hot parts where they can easily ignite and spread.

Spilled Fluids

Vehicles use gasoline/diesel fuel, engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and even engine coolant to make it run. Unfortunately, these fluids are flammable, meaning they could catch fire easily when they start to spew or spill out of nowhere particularly if their lines, hoses or reservoirs are hit.

Better keep your car’s fuel system in check regularly so you’d be aware of dangerous leaks and repair them right away.

Electrical System Failures

Electrical wiring runs in every part of a car, so it is advisable to look after your car’s overall wiring system before they get frayed and cause sparks. Also, a typical vehicle’s standard battery’s charging cycle can cause explosive hydrogen gas to build up in the engine bay, and the electrical current the battery provides can produce sparks that can quickly ignite a fluid drip or leaked vapor.

Most car accidents, including vehicle fires, can be avoided when we are responsible owner. Never skip your routine maintenance because even the smallest detail is enough reason to your car and life at risk.

However, if the unthinkable has already occurred, it is important to act quickly while remaining calm. Stop the car, turn off the ignition, get every person out of the car, stay away and move to the closest safe place to avoid flames and toxic fumes, and immediately call for help.

Condo in Metro Manila or House and Lot in Nearby Provinces: Which is a Smarter Buy?

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The transition to go from renter to homeowner is financially and emotionally demanding, because you need to consider a lot of factors before you sign the necessary papers.

In today’s market, prices of condominiums in the metro and housing projects in suburban areas are now more competitive making it easier for Filipinos to purchase their own home. But still, many first-time buyers find themselves lost in choosing between the two for their first buy.

Whether you have specific selling-points in mind or not, this list of pointers will help you assess if a condo or house and lot is the way to go:

  1. TERMS OF OWNERSHIP

A house and lot gives you the exclusive rights to your property, you don’t have to follow any restrictions or rules imposed by the administration or the decision of all homeowners (whether you like it or not). You can have your own pet which some condominiums might forbid. Owners also have the advantage of passing the property to the children or grandchildren. Condominiums are just actually good for 50 years or until the building is declared unsafe to live in.

  1. LOCATION

Most people who opt for condominiums are the young professionals who want to live cozily while retaining an easy-access to their workplaces. Most condominiums in Manila are built in the vicinity of Metro Manila, particularly near the malls, restaurants, schools, and transportation hubs. With this, you can save time, energy, and money from travelling far, unlike when you live in nearby provinces or towns.

  1. SPACE

Versatility is the main advantage of owning a house. You can utilize and take up as much space as you want, as long as it’s within your property.  You can have your own parking space or a piece for your gardening. You can even set up a store and convert a portion of your house into an office.

Condo, on the other hand, limits your living space and usage of amenities since you have to share these common areas with other unit owners.

  1. MAINTENANCE, REPAIRS, RENOVATION

One main advantage of owning a house is you have a full control over everything, especially on when and how to remodel your place and make repairs—unlike in a condo unit where you need to first secure permission from the administrative office and building maintenance.

  1. PRICE

Purchasing a piece of land is to be converted into a house is expensive, unless you do it in the province where the price per square meter is significantly lower than in Metro Manila. Many condominiums offer affordable price range that can accommodate first-time buyers and small families.

  1. PRIVACY AND SECURITY

Condominiums have a dedicated security team to watch over the unit owners, visitors, and properties while a house’s security will depend on its location. It’s advisable to choose a gated subdivision or village with CCTVs installed in many areas and roving guards.

  1. AMENITIES AND CONVENIENCE

Most condominiums have their own gym, tennis or basketball court, or swimming pool. Homeowners have the option to install these fancy extras too but that would require a much bigger budget, though these are already available in clubhouse areas in some subdivisions.

  1. RESALE

Real estate always appreciates, regardless if its house & lot or condo, your investment will invariably increase in value. A condo could generate more rental income than a house and lot with less maintenance expenses. But in terms of re-selling, you will find a house and lot easier to get off your hands. So if you’re buying in an investment point-of-view, you might want to consider those facts.

  1. TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURES

Condominiums are already in a strategic location with good infrastructure, while houses located outside Metro Manila still requires you to travel for longer hours to reach your workplace. Although much peaceful and less pollution, one common problem house owners in the suburbs have to endure more than condo dwellers is the dreadful Metro Manila traffic.

Aside from the factors mentioned, there are still other personal reasons that an individual needs to consider when choosing to invest in a house and lot or a condominium unit. For every question you may have, seek advice and weight your options.