6. Home Insurance
There are many, many different types of homeowner’s insurance available. You would need to find the one that suits your needs. We suggest you go to the ELRAP Index of Professionals, on this webpage and look up reliable insurance brokers recommended by ELRAP members in your area. Also make it a point to talk to friends, both Filipino and foreign, and ask their recommendations as to a reputable broker.
Appliances in the Philippines run on 220v current, and the standard outlet is a two-prong either round or straight vertical plug. The quality here is not what you are used to if you are from the US, Australia, Europe and probably most well developed industrial nations. Buy name brands you know like GE, Samsung, Panasonic, Mitsubishi etc.
Electricity is expensive, gas is not, consequently, most cookers/stoves run on gas. Sometimes, the range is gas, but the oven is electric. In any case, there is a wide variety of cookers/stoves available, both locally made and imported, but the imported units are expensive. There are small two and four burner tabletop cooking ranges that work on propane gas. For these, get the more expensive direct in line gas line connector. They don’t leak and they regulate gas flow well.
The washers/dryers, refrigerators and cooking stoves are mostly smaller, but full sized appliances, locally or regionally made, are readily available. Chest freezers, both regular full-size as well as a smaller version, usually with a lock and key on them, are also readily available.
The cheaper washers/dryers are made of a heavy plastic and are very simple. All the washer does is agitate the clothes back and forth and pump soapy water around. The dryer part of this device is a little misleading. It spins clothes, but leaves them damp, so your staff will likely have to hang clothes on a line (“sampayan”) to dry properly.
Clothes dryers are either electrical or gas, with gas being favored. For gas dryers there is often an adapter kit that is required so that the unit can use the bottled gas. This kit is available in the Philippines, but sometimes it takes some doing to find one. Usually, ACE or TrueValue hardware stores in the bigger cities, like Manila or Cebu, would carry it. When purchasing a unit, ask the manager of the store where you are buying your gas dryer if the unit needs the converter kit, and if so, then how/where to get a hold of the converter kit in your area.
Household gas is supplied in containers, not piped in, and the containers come in two sizes (you guessed it) “big” and “small”.
Gas barbeques are available, but they are expensive as they are imported, either from the US or Australia. Old-fashioned charcoal barbeques are readily available and cheap…and easy to clean since you will more than likely have someone on staff to do the cleaning for you.
Other appliances, whether for kitchen, entertainment, personal grooming, and the usual, are easily available, in all sorts of price ranges. Your choices for more “modern” appliances (such as colors over plain old white, something with all the bells and whistles as opposed to a simple “on” and “off” button) are more readily available in the larger cities. Don’t expect to be able to buy anything fancy in the provinces.
Current, particularly in some parts of the country, can fluctuate wildly. In the cities it is usually fairly steady. For your more valuable appliances there are all sorts of “voltage regulators” that can be bought at hardware stores that…well…regulate the fluctuation of the electricity. They are not expensive and they work well. In addition, one can still find “step-down” transformers where you can plug in that 110v item that you just can’t bear to part with and the transformer will “step down” the current it receives from the 220v outlet, allowing you to use your 110v item.