Guardian Life Insurance
- A.M. Best: A++
- Fitch: AA+
- Moody’s: Aa2
- S&P Global: AA+
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is one of the oldest and largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States, with a rather colorful origin story that dates back over 150 years.
The company was founded by German civil rights lawyer Hugo Wesendonck, who had participated in the European Revolutions of 1848 and been accused of treason, leading him to flee to the United States. In 1860 he opened the Germania Life Insurance Company on Wall Street, with the goal of providing coverage to the growing number of fellow German immigrants arriving in America.
Germania eventually became the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, which is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States. Based in New York City, the Fortune 250 company boasts a network of more than 9,500 employees spread across over 70 agencies nationwide and a comprehensive set of insurance policy options.
Also, as a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders, Guardian pays out annual dividends to customers who buy whole life insurance. Since 1868, the company has paid out a dividend every single year, and in 2019 will pay a record dividend of $978 million to its policyholders.
Table of Contents:
- Quotes & Application Process
- Policy Options
- Life Insurance Riders
- Financial Strength
- Contact Information
Guardian Life Insurance Quotes and Application Process
In order to get a quote for a whole or universal life insurance plan, you will need to contact a Guardian financial representative to discuss your case.
Free and simple online quotes are only available for term life insurance policies.
To receive one, you must go to the website and enter your sex, age, tobacco usage, and annual income. Upon clicking “get my quote,” you will be presented with an estimated monthly premium cost, which can change as you adjust the length of the term (10, 15, 20, or 30 years) and the amount of coverage you want.
You will also be presented with the option to select a feature that will allow you to later convert your temporary term policy to lifetime coverage, and another feature that will keep your coverage intact if you miss payments due to an injury or illness that prevents you from working.
Once you have customized your policy, you will be prompted to contact an advisor in order to enroll.
Guardian Life Insurance Policies
Guardian offers a comprehensive selection of policies that include term, whole, and universal life insurance.
Anyone that is uncertain about which policy would be best for their situation should familiarize themselves with the differences between term and whole life insurance.
One major distinction in the case of Guardian, a mutual insurance company, pays dividends only to policyholders who have whole life insurance coverage from the company.
Term Life Insurance Coverage
While whole and universal life insurance policies are meant to last a lifetime, term life insurance coverage only provides guaranteed benefits for an agreed upon term length. Guardian term life policies are available for people ages 18 to 75 years old, and can be purchased for terms of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years.
The primary advantage of term life insurance is low premiums, while the primary disadvantage is the limited time frame for coverage and the lack of investment value.
Guardian does allow term life policyholders to pay a small fee for the ability to eventually convert their policy into permanent life insurance if they decide they want to, a feature that may be worthwhile to those who struggle to determine how much life insurance they need.
Whole Life Insurance Coverage
Guardian’s whole life insurance policies provide lifelong coverage to those who remain current on their payments. Other major advantages include tax-deferred cash value accumulation and the ability to access your funds.
Those with whole life are also eligible for potential dividends, which the company has paid out annually for the last 150 years.
Universal Life Insurance Coverage
Another form of permanent life insurance, universal is similar to whole in that it features the same guaranteed lifelong protection, tax-deferred cash value accumulation and ability to access funds.
The main difference between the two is that whole life has guarantees and costs a guaranteed level amount of money each month, while universal life cash values and premiums can fluctuate.
Guardian Life Insurance Riders
A rider, also known as an insurance endorsement, is an insurance policy provision that somehow amends the terms of a basic insurance policy.
Riders allow policyholders to gain additional coverage they decide they want, or alternately limit coverage they don’t think they need, for an additional fee. Guardian has one major life insurance rider it offers to policyholders.
Long Term Care Rider
Because the life expectancy age in America continues to increase, more individuals are requiring some form of long term care services.
To help people prepare now to cover the cost of services they may need in the future, Guardian allows eligible policyholders to include a Long Term Care Rider that allows them to access money from a part of their life insurance policy if they are receiving long term care services due to a chronic illness.
Guardian Life Insurance Discounts
Insurers frequently offer discounts to sweeten the pot for potential applicants.
For example, insurers that also sell home and auto coverage typically provide some bundling discount for combining two or more lines of insurance, while most life insurance providers will give automatic discounts to those who abstain from certain practices considered risky or unhealthy, such as smoking.
Guardian does not provide any public information about its own discounts, but does appear to give lower quotes to non-smokers.
Guardian Life Insurance Financial Strength
Financial strength is one of the key measures of an insurance company’s dependability since creditworthiness is the chief indicator of how likely it is that a claim will be paid. Fortunately, this is one area in which Guardian truly excels.
In business for 158 years, Guardian has built up a solid reputation and billions of dollars in capital, and picked up some of the best financial ratings in the industry along the way.
The company has a perfect A++ (Superior) score from AM Best, the insurance industry’s leading independent evaluator. Guardian also boasts an AA+ (Very Strong) rating from Standard & Poor’s, the second highest of 22 ratings, and an Aa2 (Excellent) score from Moody’s, the third highest of 21 ratings. Those scores clearly position Guardian in the top tier of insurers when it comes to financial strength.
Guardian has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 1957, and currently boasts a perfect A+ BBB rating. The insurer’s customer review average is just one star out of five, though that only reflects the results of 33 customer reviews total.
The company does not appear on our own top 10 list of the best life insurance companies but is generally well-reviewed.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ database, Guardian’s life insurance complaint ratio of 0.41 in 2018 put it significantly below the national median of 1.00, indicating fewer complaints than the average life insurance provider receives.
Guardian Phone Number & Contact Information
- Homepage URL: http://www.guardianlife.com/
- Company Phone: (212) 598-8000
- Headquarters Address: 7 Hanover Sq, New York, NY 10004-2616