Guardian Life Insurance Review 2020

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Guardian Life insurance has been around for over 150 years. They were started by a group of immigrants who banded together to provide insurance for their businesses and families. The first policy was issued to a cigar merchant in July of 1860. 

Guardian Life Insurance is a mutual company, which means they answer to their customers rather than shareholders and investors. This also means that if you own a whole life insurance policy through them, you will share in annual dividends, if there are any. However, Guardian Life has paid dividends every year since 1868, so you can probably count on dividends. In 2019 they paid over $900 million dollars in dividends. They serve 29 million customers. 

Pros and Cons of Guardian Life Insurance

– You can get an online quote for term insurance
– Whole life insurance policies are eligible to receive dividends
– Offers whole life insurance to those living with HIV
– Less consumer complaints than expected
– Large, financially stable company
– Policies are sold through insurance advisors
– Information about individual life insurance is very basic 

Products Offered by Guardian Life Insurance

Guardian offers term, universal, and whole life insurance. 

Guardian Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance is offered in terms of anywhere from 5 to 30 years. Getting an online quote is pretty easy for term insurance; the form asks you if you’re male or female, if you do or do not smoke tobacco, how old you are and your annual salary. Then it provides you with a default quote of $2,000,000 for a 20-year term, but you can adjust both the term and the amount of coverage. When it comes times to purchase it, you’ll have to contact an advisor. 

Guardian Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is life insurance with a cash value savings component attached. Since Guardian life is a mutual company, you’ll earn dividends which you can then use to:

  • Reinvest in the policy
  • Use to pay premiums
  • Take in cash

Whole life insurance never expires, assuming you keep paying your premiums. 

>>MORE: A Guide to Best Whole Life Insurance Companies

Guardian Universal Life Insurance

Universal life insurance is also a permanent type of life insurance that lasts your entire life. It offers more flexibility that whole life, in that you can adjust or even skip your monthly payments.

In addition to life insurance, Guardian also offers:

  • Disability insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Accident insurance
  • Critical illness insurance
  • Cancer insurance
  • Hospital indemnity insurance
  • Annuities
  • IRA’s
  • Investments
  • Business insurance

Guardian also offers college tuition assistance, where qualifying members can earn tuition reward points, which can then be used to reduce tuition at 400 participating colleges and universities. 

Information about Guardian’s life insurance policies are very basic, which makes sense since they sell all of their policies through insurance advisors. 

Financial Strength Rating of Guardian Life Insurance

AM Best rates Guardian Life insurance’s financial strength as an A++, or superior. That’s as high a financial strength rating as a company can have. 

Customer Satisfaction Rating of Guardian Life Insurance

Guardian Life insurance is rated 7th overall by J.D. Power’s 2019 Life Insurance Study. They earned 770 points with the median average being 761 points. They also earned four out of five stars. 

In the individual rankings, here is how Guardian Life did:

  • Product Offerings: 3/5
  • Price: 3/5
  • Statements: 3/5
  • Interaction: 4/5
  • Communication: 3/5
  • Application and Orientation: 4/5

Overall, decent customer service scores, some above average and others just average. J.D. Power recognized Guardian for providing “An Outstanding Customer Service Experience” for phone support at their Individual Life contact center. 

Consumer Complaints Rating of Guardian Life Insurance

The BBB (Better Business Bureau) rates Guardian Life Insurance Company of America with an A+. Furthermore, Guardian has been accredited by the BBB since 1957. 

On the other hand, there are 71 customer complaints and 27 mostly one-star reviews (one five-star review). Of the 71 complaints, 19 of them concern billing/collections and 45 are problems with a product or a service. 

Guardian is a huge company, and it’s impossible to make everyone happy, so let’s look at what the NAIC says. 

For group life insurance, the NAIC gives Guardian life insurance a ratio of 0.32. For individual life insurance, the NAIC gives them a ratio of 0.04. A ratio of 1.0 is the median average number of complaints, so Guardian actually receives far fewer complaints than you would expect for a company of its size.

Digital Experience Rating of Guardian Life Insurance

You can easily get a quote for term insurance on the website, and you can play with it to see how different terms and coverages affect your rates. However, to actually purchase insurance, you’ll need to contact an insurance advisor. Keep in mind that insurance advisors, financial advisors, and the like work on commission. Therefore, they might not have your best interests in mind when they sell you a policy. It also tends to make the prices a little higher, to account for the commission. 

As far as the website goes, there are helpful life insurance calculators and a walk-though that helps you decide how much and what sort of life insurance you need. 

Online, you can:

  • Add or update banking information
  • Request a policy loan
  • Change your method of payment
  • Set up recurring payments
  • Change tax withholding information

To file a claim, you’ll have to contact your agent. 

Guardian life insurance does have a mobile app. You can make payments, view your policy, manage your beneficiaries, or view your payment history. Many of the reviews on the Google Play store complain the app crashes or won’t load. 

Last Thoughts

Guardian life insurance is a large company with a long history of financial stability. They have decent customer service ratings for such a large company. If you just want to go online and purchase a policy, however, they’re not your company. You can get a quote online, but you have to call an agent to purchase a policy. This could be good or bad, depending on how good your agent is and how much guidance they provide. If you don’t mind working with agents, or feel you need some help choosing a policy, Guardian Life is worth a look.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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