Safe And Secure

East Hampton’s Amaden Gay insurance has a long track record of offering robust protection to the community.
The Bowtie House in Amagansett, created by Barnes Coy Architects and Consiglio Builders. Photography by Paul Domzal/

By Jim Servin

An Amagansett client contacted Amaden Gay insurance principal Chris McDonald from The Bahamas last winter to tell him that a low-temperature alarm had gone off in his Hamptons home. McDonald drove out to the property to inspect it. “There was severe water damage,” he says. “One of the pipes had frozen and then burst.” McDonald FaceTimed the client to show him the wreckage, then coordinated cleanup; an in-house Amaden Gay team helped process the claim. “We were able to address it much sooner than it would have been if the client were working with someone outside of the Hamptons,” says McDonald, adding that timeliness headed off another potential disaster. “Water sitting in a house,” he says, “can turn into a mold situation.”

Peace of mind is the ultimate wellness objective of well-planned insurance. Founded in 1890 in the village of East Hampton, the family-owned Amaden Gay agency prides itself on an intimate, detailed understanding of Hamptons living. “Out here is a very unique situation, from an insurance perspective,” says McDonald. “A lot of carriers want nothing to do with the Hamptons—they think it’s a risky area because we stick out in the ocean; we are susceptible to floods and wind damage. The home values are so high that some carriers shy away from it. When you work with our agency, you get the expertise of a broker who knows the flood zones, the elevations, the building codes, and other factors that go into insuring a Hamptons home.”

Amaden Gay principal Chris McDonald. Photo courtesy of Amaden Gay

The focus of Amaden Gay, says McDonald, is “personal insurance—insuring the beautiful homes of the Hamptons,” as well as its boats, vintage cars, jewelry and fine art. “A lot of the time, people’s insurance gets scattered, especially when there are a lot of moving parts, like multiple homes and art collections,” he says. “We can help by identifying coverage gaps and consolidating all of their policies with one carrier. We do this both locally and on a national basis.” A common oversight involves umbrella insurance, a type of personal liability coverage that offers an added layer of protection to existing policies. “If a car insurance policy has $100,000 in liability, and the umbrella requires $500,000 liability, there’s a dangerous gap in the coverage,” says McDonald. “There are successful people out here who have never understood what their policies cover. Their insurance has never been explained to them.”

Amaden Gay’s staff of 40 is dedicated to helping clients decipher the fine print, to discover ways to save money, to pinpoint where they might be underinsured. Consultations are free of charge. “A potential client shouldn’t hesitate to call us with questions, or just a second opinion,” says McDonald. “We help people make sure they’ve got the right protection for their family and their assets. Our clients really appreciate the personalized guidance and service we offer.”