Guardian life insurance review 2022

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Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has been writing policies since 1860 when it was founded by a group of German-American immigrants in New York. Today, it has more than 29 million clients, providing life insurance and more to individuals, companies and government-sponsored programs across the globe. As a mutual insurance company, it is accountable to its clients rather than investors.

  • Date established: 1860
  • Insurance products offered: 
    • Life
    • Disability
    • Health
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A++ (highest possible rating)
  • J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Individual Life Insurance customer satisfaction rating: 743/1,000 
  • Availability: All 50 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico
Pros Cons
Mutual insurance companies answer to policy owners, not investors No mobile app
Operates throughout the U.S. and is available in Puerto Rico Customer service is available only during business hours
2,700 financial representatives Below-average ratings for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power study
Offers term, whole life and universal life insurance policies
Above-average ratings for financial stability from AM Best

Guardian life insurance coverage types

At its most basic, life insurance offers you death benefits — a payout to help your beneficiaries when you pass away. But it can be more than that, too, and Guardian offers a range of policy types and riders to allow you to purchase insurance customized to your particular needs.

Guardian offers three kinds of life insurance policies, each tailored to different circumstances:

  • Term life insurance: Term life insurance is typically the cheapest option when looking for a life insurance policy. It is active for a specific period — usually between 10 and 30 years — and it’s a good choice if you are looking for a simple, inexpensive policy to cover you, for example, while your children are young. However, once term policies are over, the death benefit goes away, and you are no longer covered.

    With Guardian’s term life insurance policies, you can purchase coverage ranging from $250,000 to $5 million for terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. Premiums are fixed for the entirety of your term. According to Guardian, the average cost of term life insurance for a 21-year-old female with a death benefit of $500,000 is $27 per month.

  • Whole life insurance: Whole life is a type of permanent life insurance that lasts throughout your lifetime as long as you continue to pay your premiums. It also allows you to earn money that can be accessed through policy loans before your death, and you may receive dividends annually. Whole life generally costs more than term life insurance but may be a good way to defer taxes and enjoy your dividends in addition to paying a death benefit.
  • Universal life insurance: A universal life policy is also permanent — that is, you can keep it as long as you live. It’s different from whole life in that it is more flexible. If your circumstances change, you can adjust your monthly payments within a specific range and increase or decrease your death benefit. Like whole life, it’s relatively expensive, but it, too, allows you to build cash value that you can access during your lifetime, and there may be dividends offered as well. These policies guarantee a minimum return never to fall below 2.5 percent, regardless of the market.

All of Guardian’s policies can be adjusted through the use of riders. Some examples include a term conversion rider that allows you to change from term to permanent insurance, a waiver of premium if you become disabled and an accidental death rider.

One type of policy that Guardian does not offer is guaranteed issue life insurance. This type of policy does not require medical screenings or exams and is commonly used by older adults who might have health concerns. This type of permanent policy is generally somewhat expensive but is good for seniors looking to leave a financial legacy to their heirs.

Guardian insurance customer and claims satisfaction

Guardian life insurance reviews are generally positive, and the company has some good ratings with consumer watchdog organizations. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners rates it at 0.71 for customer complaints, with anything under 1.0 being better than the industry average.

However, J.D. Power, the other group that monitors customer service in the insurance industry, gives Guardian a less-than-stellar 743/1,000, meaning they are slightly below the average for life insurance companies in overall customer satisfaction. Your own experiences may hinge on many things, including your local agent, but it’s worth noting that the vast majority of Guardian policyholders have no complaints about the company.

Another valuable ranking is that produced by AM Best, which provides financial strength ratings for insurers. A company’s history of financial stability indicates that they have been able to pay claims without issue, which may give you some peace of mind for future claims, although circumstances can change. Guardian’s A++ is the highest rating the company provides and indicates that Guardian is well-managed with good financial investments.

Other insurance products

Guardian helps people protect themselves and secure their future in several ways. In addition to life insurance products, the company offers disability insurance, several varieties of health insurance (including dental and cancer insurance), and other financial tools such as IRAs and annuities. It partners with Medicaid and Medicare for dental and eye care solutions and works with employers for group insurance as well.

Guardian also provides the following products to help grow your wealth:

  • Annuities: A contractual agreement between you and your insurance company where they agree to make payments to you in the future in exchange for your premiums today.
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA): A tax-advantaged account for individuals to save for retirement separate from their employer-sponsored plan.
  • Brokerage accounts: An investment account to help you invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and more.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best life insurance company?

The best life insurance companies on the market provide exceptional customer service and policy options at an affordable rate. There’s no one perfect life insurance company for everyone, so it’s important to shop around to find the provider that best fits your needs.

How do I choose the right life insurance policy for me?

Guardian offers a range of policies, and you may struggle to decide which life insurance policy is right for you. You will need to consider if you want the short-term solution of a term policy, or the life-long commitment of permanent life insurance, which also offers a savings component that can be an element in your financial planning. If you’re unsure where to start, you might want to speak with a licensed insurance agent or financial advisor.

How much does life insurance cost?

The cost of life insurance is different for everyone. Term life insurance policies come with the lowest monthly premiums, while whole life and universal life will be more costly. Your personal characteristics will also impact your price — young and healthy policyholders can expect to pay lower premiums, while older individuals or those with preexisting conditions will typically pay more.

How do you buy life insurance?

Guardian offers term life insurance quotes on their website to help you start the process. After that, you can connect with a local agent who can guide you through the process. Note that the quote you receive on the website might not match exactly with your final premium rate, which will have your medical exam data factored in, as well as other information gathered by your agent.

Written by
Mary Van Keuren
Insurance Contributor
Mary Van Keuren has written for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com and Thesimpledollar.com for the past five years, specializing in home and auto insurance. She has also written extensively for consumer websites including reviews.com and myslumberyard.com. Prior to that, she worked as a writer in academia for several decades.
Edited by
Insurance Editor