ESTATE MANAGEMENT PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS ON PERCEPTION OF HOUSEOWNER/HOUSEHOLDER POLICY AND ITS IMPACT ON URBAN ACCOMMODATION IN NIGERIA (Case Study of Uyo Local Government Area)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Insurance business is to make good a loss, through patronage gained from the insuring public. Houseowner/householder comprehensive policy aims at reducing loss of buildings, it contents and consequential expenses. Evidence in the efforts to develop, build and maintain a house by every person, explains the inestimable value of accommodation. A house is generally regarded as one of human’s basic needs. Though it involves a huge cost to own or take occupancy, it is relatively durable in nature, with the capacity to generate a life time income for owners, if loss prevention and risk reduction measures are properly considered. This reflects the observation of Agbola (1998) that “housing is a set of durable assets which accounts for a high proportion of a country’s wealth”. This is why accommodation which is a place to live, work, stay in or keep other properties should also be seen as an acceleration in urban development and sustained growth.
In Nigeria, although there appears to be a slow response for the marketability of insurance policies, available record on gross premium of insurance companies in recent years, shows a consistent increase in gross premium earned by insurance industry (Insurance Digest 2012). In spite of these, it appears that there exists a perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy which is considered to have effect on urban accommodation needs. Whatever the perception of the insuring public is about houseowner/householder comprehensive policy, one cannot trivialize the usefulness of this service of insurance in the mitigation of loss of buildings, its contents and benefit from related consequences. This is clear in the opinion of Daft (2003: 124) which states:
“regardless of where one lives, as the earth rotates around the sun each year, the season change. Whether one lives where the signs are obvious… or where the signs are subtler, nature is signaling change all the same. We come to expect these alterations as part of the natural order of life’.
This is so because building and its content are subject to impact from natural occurrences and man’s activities. Houseowned today will eventually fall into disuse tomorrow especially in the absence of adequate policy cover. Where the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy is poor, the tendency is that there will be prevalence of badly developed and maintenance lacking accommodations, many of which will be quickly abandoned owing to needs of repairs, and absence of loss prevention measures that would have been instituted by a policy contract. Insurance policy is administered through a structural management process that impounds into its scope four basic management functions of planning, organizing directing and control (Akpan and Acha, 2011).
Where there exists, a good perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy, the tendency remains that premium written on the policy will be high. There will be less or no dilapidated buildings, earnings from rents and government revenue will equally be consistent. Aggregate savings will increase leading to increased investment and more accommodation will be built or developed. Rent cost will be relatively stable. There will be an improvement in available accommodations, leading to a reduction in derelict buildings found in the urban area concerned.
Hence, this study seeks to investigate and determine what the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy is among Uyo residents, and the impact it has on accommodation needs.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Accommodation issues in urban areas have progressively become very complex, seemingly unmanageable and yet critical for socio-economic development. This situation becomes worse on occasion of ferocious tornado, fierce thunderstorm, ravaging fire outbreak, torrential rainfall, marauding burglar, malicious social disorder and many others, which buildings and their contents are especially susceptible.
In Nigeria, there are increased incidence of collapse buildings, apparent existence of abandoned accommodations, and prevalence of dilapidated houses. There is also a high evidence of negligence amongst houseowner/householders to the importance of loss prevention measures and accommodation maintenance culture. The low per-capita income of Nigerians has made it difficult for houseowners/householders to generate reasonable savings to be able to effect repair on owned or occupied accommodation, at the instance of any contingency. One would expect the houseowners/householders’ comprehensive policy to be a welcome service to all houseowners and renters in Uyo urban, but this seems not to be the case.
Therefore, the research attempts to investigate and determine the perception of houseowners/householders’ comprehensive policy among Uyo urban residents. It also seeks to measure and evaluate the impact of the observed perception of houseower/householder comprehensive policy on accommodation needs of Uyo Local Government.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this research is to investigate the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy among Uyo residents and to evaluate the observed perception and its effect on accommodation needs of Uyo urban. Thus, the study specifically seeks to:
(i) Ascertain the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy among Uyo Local Government residents
(ii) Establish the relationship between the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy and the rent (price) of accommodation in Uyo Local Government Area.
(iii) Determine the relationship between the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy and accommodation supply.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions are asked in this study:
(i) How many homes have houseowner/householder comprehensive policy?
(ii) What is the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy?
(iii) Does the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy have any effect on the price of accommodation?
(iv) Does the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy have any effect on the supply of accommodation?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following hypotheses are developed to guide the study:
(i) There is poor perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy in Uyo Local Government Area.
(ii) There is no significant relationship between the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy and the price of rent of accommodation.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is an evaluation of the perception of the houseowner/householders’ comprehensive (insurance) policy and its impact on accommodation needs of Uyo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, in Nigeria.
Specifically, the study covers concepts, theories and empirical findings on perception, attitude, mindset of the people towards home insurances, as well as its impact on housing needs.
The study is faced with such limitation as time constraint, difficulty to access homeowners, inadequate fund, and non-availability of sufficient literature. These limitations notwithstanding, the researcher could carry out meaningful research and draw valid conclusions.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
In consideration of the effect of climate change and man’s activities on accommodation in relation to the perception of houseowner/householder comprehensive policy by general public, this study is of importance.
(i) To insurance firms and the industry at large as it has pointed out salient issues about the practice that will improve the sector.
(ii) To houseowners/householders and occupants of accommodation in that it will unfold ignorance and bring knowledge of importance of house insurances to bear.
(iii) To the reading public and government of Nigeria, as it will improve interest in accommodation development with the practices of insurance.
(iv) To institutions, students, scholars, and subsequent researchers on related topic.
(v) To every community of the world, as it shall chart a course for achieving sustainable accommodation through houseowner/householder comprehensive policy.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF STUDY
This research study is arranged into five chapters, chapter one includes the general introduction, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research hypotheses, scope and limitations of study, significance of study as well as the definition of terms. Chapter two is the literature review, chapter three focuses on the research design, method of data collection and method of data analysis as well as statistical techniques used for data analysis. Chapter four centers on data presentation, analyzes interpretation and discussion of findings.
Finally, chapter five is the summary, conclusion and recommendations.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For this study, the following terms are defined as:
- 1. PERCEPTION: Is the process by which individuals select, organize and interpreted stimuli into meaningful and coherent picture of the world (Schiffman and Kanuk, 1987).
- 2. POLICY: Policy is a document of contract between insured and insurer.
- 3. HOUSEOWNER: Policy is an insurance cover for private dwelling or building and boundary walls.
- 4. HOUSEHOLDER INSURANCE: Is an insurance policy that covers the contents of a private building.
- 5. ACCOMMODATION: Is a house or building where one lives or work in.
- 6. COMPREHENSIVE POLICY: Is an insurance policy that combines more than one policy in one to give a wider cover.