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Guardian life insurance review 2024

Updated May 30, 2024
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At a glance

Bankrate's take

Policyholders seeking term, whole, or universal life insurance and who appreciate the guidance of a financial representative might consider Guardian Life as their company of choice.

Individuals seeking life insurance with a vast list of rider options may appreciate the policies Guardian offers.

New

What’s new with Guardian?

On June 15, 2023, Guardian Life Insurance introduced an enhanced critical illness employee benefit insurance product. It offers employers more options to ensure the comprehensive well-being of their employees and their families at every stage of life.

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We want to know what you think about Guardian

Do you have experience with Guardian? Let us know your thoughts.

Guardian life insurance

Every year, Bankrate carefully evaluates insurance providers to guide our readers through the intricate world of insurance. Based on our extensive research, our Guardian life insurance review finds that the company’s offerings seem especially suited for individuals who appreciate a mix of standard life insurance coverage with options for more robust coverage through riders. Guardian’s suite of products ensures that many individuals will be able to find a solid fit for their financial needs.

Life insurance primarily breaks down into two major categories: term and permanent. Guardian offers both, serving a vast spectrum of insurance needs.

Guardian life insurance coverage types

Guardian life insurance doesn't just offer one-size-fits-all solutions; it provides a tailored approach to meet the diverse needs of policyholders. Throughout Guardian’s range of offerings, you can find term life insurance if you are seeking coverage for a specific period and two permanent insurance types —whole and universal life — if you are in need of a lifelong coverage solution.

  • Term: Guardian's term life insurance offers a cost-effective solution for individuals seeking substantial coverage over fixed periods of 10, 20, or 30 years. Ideal for those who prioritize short-term financial protection without the long-term commitment of permanent policies, this type of insurance caters especially to younger individuals, new families, or those on a budget. With Guardian's added advantage, policyholders may transition to a permanent policy later on. Given the company’s stellar track record of over 160 years in the industry, Guardian stands as a reliable choice for term life insurance needs.
  • Permanent: For individuals aiming for lifelong coverage coupled with the added benefit of cash value accumulation, Guardian's permanent life insurance policies offer both whole and universal life options.
    • Whole: Whole life insurance from Guardian provides guaranteed coverage for a policyholder's entire lifespan, as long as premiums are paid. One of the distinct features of whole life insurance is its ability to accumulate cash value, which can be leveraged for policy loans or other financial needs. As a mutual life insurance company, Guardian further enhances the value proposition by potentially providing dividends, offering an avenue for policyholders to navigate other financial opportunities.
    • Universal: Shifting to universal life, while it mirrors the permanence and cash value features of whole life, it stands out in its adaptability. Guardian's universal life insurance policy permits policyholders to adjust their monthly premiums within set limits, catering to those seeking a degree of flexibility amidst fluctuating financial circumstances. This makes it an useful option for individuals who anticipate varying income streams or financial commitments over time.

Pros and cons of Guardian life insurance

Pros
  • Operates in all states and the District of Columbia

  • Offers term, whole life and universal life insurance policies

  • A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best

Cons
  • No mobile app for life insurance policyholders

  • Customer service is not available 24/7

  • Does not offer auto or home insurance

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Guardian life insurance endorsements

Guardian offers a long list of riders for its different policy types. A few options you may want to consider include:

  • Waiver of premium rider: This rider allows your policy to remain in force in the event you become disabled and can’t work.
  • Guaranteed renewability clause: This rider allows term life policyholders who have been diagnosed with a serious or terminal disease near the end of their existing term to renew their policy if they no longer have other coverage options.
  • Accidental death rider: This rider adds a specified cash benefit to the policy’s normal death benefit in the case of accidental death or dismemberment, depending on the nature of the injury.
  • Accelerated terminal illness rider: This lets individuals with terminal illnesses access part of their death benefit during their lifetime.
  • Charitable benefit rider: Guardian will add an extra 1% to your death benefit (capped at $100,000) to be paid to a charity of your choice, at no extra cost, beyond what's given to your beneficiaries.

Compare Guardian with other insurers

Although Guardian may be considered one of the best life insurance companies according to Bankrate’s research, it may be a better fit for some than others. If you’re not sure if Guardian is the right company for you, these other companies may be worth considering:

Guardian vs. Mutual of Omaha

This provider might be a good choice if you are looking for strong digital tools combined with high customer satisfaction and numerous product types. Like Guardian, Mutual of Omaha offers term life, universal life and whole life insurance policies. The provider sells term life policies to people aged 18 to 80. The Mutual of Omaha website enables you to get online quotes for term life and whole life products.

Besides life insurance, Mutual of Omaha also offers dental insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance, long-term care insurance and cancer, heart attack and stroke insurance. Mutual of Omaha ranked fourth in the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, with an overall customer satisfaction score of 805 out of 1,000.

Learn more: Mutual of Omaha Insurance review

Guardian vs. State Farm

With the highest score in the J.D. Power study, a network of local agents and as Bankrate’s 2024 Award winner for best term life insurer, State Farm could be a solid insurer for many individuals. The provider sells term life, universal life and whole life insurance policies, but does not offer online quotes. Guardian offers term life policies that feature 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms, while State Farm only offers 10-, 20- and 30-year terms. However, State Farm allows policyholders to keep their term life policies in place up to age 95.

Unlike Guardian, State Farm offers one-stop shopping for your insurance needs. Besides life insurance, State Farm also sells business, car, commercial auto, condominium, home, identity restoration, rental property and renters insurance. The insurer also offers retirement plans, including traditional and Roth IRAs, and banking services such as checking and savings accounts.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Guardian vs. Globe Life

Globe Life ranked seventh in the 2023 J.D. Power life insurance survey, with an overall customer satisfaction score of 798 out of 1,000. Globe Life sells term life and whole life insurance, along with children’s life insurance, which features a savings component and rates that never increase. The provider also offers final expense insurance and mortgage protection, a type of accidental death and dismemberment coverage that can pay off your mortgage when you die due to a covered accident.

Globe Life also offers a wide range of supplemental health products, including, accident, cancer, critical illness, hospital and ICU insurance. However, Globe Life does not offer auto, condominium, home or renters insurance like other alternatives on our list.

Learn more: Globe Life Insurance review

Is Guardian a good insurance company?

Guardian Life Insurance, as a mutual company, positions itself as deeply dedicated to its policyholders. Its product portfolio is robust, spanning from term insurance to more permanent options like whole and universal life. This array of offerings underscores the company’s commitment to cater to the diverse insurance needs of the population. Moreover, ratings from third-party agencies like J.D. Power and AM Best highlight Guardian’s positive customer experience and solid financial strength.

Beyond just its insurance products, Guardian makes noteworthy efforts in corporate sustainability. Its active involvement in community support, from health initiatives to financial empowerment, paints a picture of a company that's not just about business, but also about making a tangible difference. While the company doesn’t offer a mobile app for policyholders, it has a vast array of tools designed to aid customers in their financial journey, making Guardian stand out as an option in the life insurance market.

Guardian customer satisfaction

In the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, Guardian ranked thirteenth in the market, with an overall customer satisfaction score of 784 out of 1,000 points, compared with top-ranking State Farm, which earned a score of 843 points. J.D. Power bases its rankings and ratings on performance factors such as communication, customer interaction, product offerings, premiums and statements.

Another valuable ranking comes from AM Best, which provides financial strength ratings for insurers. A company’s history of financial stability indicates that they have historically 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++ (Superior) is the highest rating AM Best provides and may give policyholders peace of mind that the insurer is likely to reliably payout death benefits.

Study or Rating Agency Guardian Industry average
2023 J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study 784/1,000 790/1,000
2022 J.D. Power Group Life Insurance Study 797/1,000 797/1,000
AM Best rating A++ (Superior) N/A

Guardian life complaints

When evaluating insurance providers, understanding the nature and volume of complaints lodged against a company can offer potential policyholders a clearer picture of service quality. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) serves as a key resource in this regard. It publishes an annual national complaint index report that tracks the complaints filed against insurance companies across various product types. A score is derived from this, with the baseline set at 1.0. This baseline represents the average number of complaints for a company. A score below this indicates fewer complaints than the average, while a score above suggests a higher than average complaint volume.

For 2022 — as consistent with the years prior — Guardian scores significantly under baseline. The company secured a 0.08 company complaint index score for individual life insurance, indicating significantly fewer complaints than the industry average. This is notably well below the standard baseline of 1.0, highlighting Guardian's commitment to meeting its policyholders' needs and addressing concerns promptly and effectively.

Other Guardian tools and benefits

Beyond its comprehensive life insurance products, Guardian offers a suite of tools and benefits designed to enhance policyholder experience and financial well-being. From innovative financial planning resources to specialized coverage options, Guardian ensures its members receive holistic support in their insurance journey.

Products

  • Disability Insurance: Guardian's disability insurance provides financial protection by replacing a portion of your income in case you're unable to work due to an illness or injury.
  • Vision Insurance: Guardian's vision insurance ensures affordable access to quality eye care, covering regular eye exams and prescription eyewear.
  • Accident Insurance: This coverage offers financial support following an unexpected injury, helping policyholders manage unexpected medical costs and recovery needs.

Tools

  • Retirement calculator: This tool offers insights and strategies to help policyholders prepare effectively for their retirement years.
  • Oral health quiz: This quick assessment gauges your dental health and offers recommendations for care improvement.
  • Mental wellness scorecard: This interactive assessment is designed to help employers evaluate how well their organization is supporting the mental wellbeing of their employees, and provides personalized suggestions and resources.

Frequently asked questions about Guardian

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Written by
Ashlyn Brooks

Ashlyn Brooks is a finance writer with more than half a decade of experience, known for her knowledge in areas such as taxes, insurance, investing, retirement, finance news, and banking products.

Edited by Senior Editor, Insurance