If you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably wondering whether it’s worth moving into a gated community. Homeowners association (HOA) fees can be pretty pricey, and not everyone wants to abide by strict community codes.
But gated communities also have their perks, such as greater security. Many insurance companies offer discounts to homes in gated communities because a guarded entrance can lower the risk of burglaries and other threats.
But you don’t have to opt for an expensive, heavily-fortified neighborhood to enjoy some insurance discounts. A few security features can also do the trick.
Here’s what you need to know about the different types of gated communities.
What are the different features of secured communities?
24-hour manned security gates:
These communities typically have a security officer controlling who can pass through the gates 24 hours a day. Manned gates are known to deter criminals, as it’s more difficult to get inside the neighborhood.
24-hour security patrol:
In this community, security guards patrol throughout the neighborhood 24 hours a day, keeping an eye out for suspicious activity. This is considered to be one of the best features, as it adds a new layer of protection.
This neighborhood uses automatic gates that open to residents holding a key or buzzer. The gate may consist of an arm that raises and lowers, or of gate doors that swing open. Because these are unmanned, they are considered less secure. However, they may be more cost-effective.
Single entry community:
Even without these other security features, simply living in a community with a single entrance can also lead to an insurance discount. This is because it forces all individuals to enter and exit through a single entrance, and minimizes the chance for strangers to gain access easily.
Which type of gated community is preferred by insurers?
The more secure a community is, the bigger the discount. Home insurance providers typically offer the best rewards to policyholders in communities with both 24-hour manned security gates and 24-hour security patrols.
Those living in communities with automatic gates may enjoy a smaller discount, while those in single entry communities may see the smallest reward. Homes in neighborhoods with zero security features are not likely to get a discount.
How do I know my type of gated community?
You can find out which types of security features your neighborhood has simply by taking a look around. When you enter the community, take notice of which type of gate is utilized, manned or automatic. You can also ask your neighbors, HOA, or gate attendants if there is a security patrol roving around.