The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the US, with more than 8,000 employees and 3,000 agents in the US alone.

Is this enough reason for you to purchase life insurance from them? You are probably aware that obtaining life insurance isn’t fun, but did you know that choosing the right company is even more daunting?

This is why I review Guardian Life products and services and compare them to the best in our industry. By the end of the post, you will decide for yourself if Guardian Life is the best company for you.

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Guardian Life Insurance History

Guardian Life was founded by Hugo Wesendonck, a German civil rights lawyer who was accused of treason in the 1848–49 revolution in Germany. He escaped to the US with the idea to sell insurance to German refugees. He initiated Germania Life Insurance Company in 1860 on Wall Street in Manhattan—which was a great location for an immigrant arriving on American shores.

A few years later, the start-up was expanded into other regions such as San Francisco, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In 1868, Germania was the first insurance company to start an agency in Europe, with almost 50 percent of its business outside of US. However, sales in Europe ceased as the WWI pressure sprang to life in July 1914.

As Guardian developed, they had to move the company to Union Square in 1911—a location that remained Guardian’s headquarters for more than 85 years. In 1979, they had a few more home offices in other locations such as Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Appleton, Wisconsin; Spokane, Washington; and Norwell, Massachusetts.

Guardian Life Insurance Financial Ratings

  • A.M. Best Company: A++ (Superior)
  • Fitch: AA+ (Very Strong)
  • Moody’s Investors’ Service: Aa2 (Excellent)
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA+ (Very Strong)
  • Comdex Ranking: 98

Products Offered by Guardian Life Insurance

Guardian Life offers a collection of both personal and business products. On the personal side, they provide life and disability insurance, annuities, investment, and dental insurance. On the business side, they provide life insurance for employees and 401(k) options. As with all our company reviews, I will cover the life insurance products Guardian Life offers for individuals.

Term Life Insurance

Life insurance coverages are frequently confused by most individuals. However, term life is one of the easiest straightforward protections to understand. You pay a fee for “pure insurance” that lasts for a specified period. The term contracts are 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. If you die during that period, your beneficiaries will receive a tax-free death benefit which they can use as income replacement, to pay an outstanding mortgage loan, or in any way, they see fit.

Term life is an ideal solution for those who seek temporary protection and are also budget-conscious. Lastly, term life insurance allows you to buy the greatest amount of coverage at the lowest price when compared to other permanent coverage.

Most term life insurance comes with convertibility provision, which allows the insured to convert the term policy into permanent coverage at the end of the contract, without proving insurability or taking an exam, before a certain age. Unfortunately, this isn’t a built-in option in the Guardian term life product. It’s an optional provision, and if you want it, you will need to pay for it.

guardian life optional provision

Whole Life Insurance

Whole life insurance is a type of permanent coverage that lasts your full lifetime. The coverage provides cash value accumulation on a tax-deferred basis, with a guaranteed death benefit to be paid, upon your death, to your designated beneficiaries.

Additionally, the premiums remain level (the same) throughout your life, so you always know what to expect to pay. Since Guardian Life is a mutual company, you are also entitled to collect dividends based on their yearly profits. Dividends aren’t guaranteed, but historically, Guardian Life has been paying them since 1868.

Universal Life Insurance

Another essential permanent coverage is called Universal Life Insurance. UL offers a fundamental advantage term which whole life does not—flexibility. That means the flexibility to increase or decrease your death benefit amount as the need arises, adjust your premium payments, or even skip payments as long as there is enough cash value in the account.

Just like whole life, UL has a cash value component that grows on a tax-deferred basis which you can tap into in the future through a loan or withdrawal. Additionally, UL offers a guaranteed death benefit to be paid to your heirs upon your death. For those who seek freedom and options, universal life is an exceptional choice.

Variable Universal Life Insurance

Variable universal life insurance is another permanent solution with identical benefits as the traditional universal life. The only difference is how the cash in the account is invested. With universal life, the earned interest is guaranteed by the insurance company and isn’t a subject to investment performance or market movement.

The opposite is true with variable universal life. The cash is invested in the stock market, which creates an entirely different environment for wins and losses.

Guardian Life vs. Other Carriers’ Sample Monthly Rates

Male 20-year Term $250,000

 CompanyAge 30Age 40Age 50Age 60
 Protective $13.12 $17.85 $41.50 $111.59
 Banner $13.33 $19.26 $40.85 $111.13
 AIG $13.54 $19.38 $42.73 $114.74
 Foresters $13.56 $18.81 $42.66 $114.84
 Lincoln$13.56 $18.38 $46.55 $190.53
 Mutual of Omaha $13.56 $20.08 $46.55 $134.05
 Principal $14.66 $19.03 $42.61 $110.03
 SBLI $14.79 $21.67 $51.68 $147.70
 Transamerica $20.34 $26.45 $51.17 $135.88
 Guardian Life $25.00 $33.00 $77.00 $198.00

Female 20-year Term $250,000

 CompanyAge 30Age 40Age 50Age 60
 Protective $11.83 $15.27 $31.18 $77.61
 Banner $11.74 $15.67 $31.17 $78.83
 AIG $11.81 $18.51 $35.59 $89.66
 Foresters $12.47 $16.63 $31.94 $85.97
 Lincoln$12.08 $16.14 $32.77 $160.13
 Mutual of Omaha $12.64 $19.21 $36.05 $94.02
 Principal $13.13 $16.63 $32.90 $77.92
 SBLI $13.31 $18.99 $36.46 $90.37
 Transamerica $13.98 $21.72 $40.64 $110.51
 Guardian Life $21.00 $29.00 $52.00 $132.00

Male 20-year Term $500,000

 CompanyAge 30Age 40Age 50Age 60
 Protective $20.21 $28.38 $75.68 $205.97
 Banner $20.12 $32.68 $74.39 $205.97
 AIG $20.24 $30.62 $77.76 $213.57
 Foresters $21.00 $31.50 $79.19 $223.56
 Lincoln$21.00 $30.28 $78.71 $214.33
 Mutual of Omaha $21.61 $33.42 $85.05 $249.55
 Principal $22.75 $31.50 $78.66 $213.50
 SBLI $21.32 $36.92 $96.06 $286.85
 Transamerica $23.65 $43.00 $95.46 $253.70
 Guardian Life $36.00 $52.00 $133.00 $354.00

Female 20-year Term $500,000

 CompanyAge 30Age 40Age 50Age 60
 Protective $17.63 $24.94 $55.47 $139.32
 Banner $17.11 $25.49 $55.47 $145.00
 AIG $17.21 $27.16 $63.06 $163.40
 Foresters $18.81 $27.13 $57.75 $165.81
 Lincoln$18.16 $26.16 $58.41 $148.05
 Mutual of Omaha $18.99 $28.61 $64.05 $169.93
 Principal $19.69 $26.69 $59.24 $149.27
 SBLI $19.14 $29.67 $65.87 $173.03
 Transamerica $19.78 $34.83 $73.10 $204.68
 Guardian Life $28.00 $43.00 $86.00 $234.00

Male 20-year Term $1,000,000

 CompanyAge 30Age 40Age 50Age 60
 Protective $33.97 $51.17 $142.33 $396.03
 Banner $37.84 $58.48 $140.61 $406.63
 AIG $34.95 $53.98 $144.80 $418.14
 Foresters $34.13 $56.00 $150.50 $438.38
 Lincoln$49.00 $70.00 $147.70 $418.78
 Mutual of Omaha $37.80 $59.68 $161.18 $481.43
 Principal $38.50 $55.56 $147.88 $418.78
 SBLI $35.24 $56.03 $147.73 $457.62
 Transamerica $39.56 $80.84 $178.02 $483.32
 Guardian Life $71.00 $104.00 $265.00 $709.00

Female 20-year Term $1,000,000

 CompanyAge 30Age 40Age 50Age 60
 Protective $28.81 $43.43 $101.91 $267.03
 Banner $28.72 $50.09 $110.51 $294.55
 AIG $28.89 $47.92 $117.12 $309.15
 Foresters $29.75 $47.25 $107.63 $322.88
 Lincoln$38.50 $53.38 $108.50 $283.33
 Mutual of Omaha $31.68 $50.93 $119.18 $324.80
 Principal $32.16 $46.81 $108.94 $283.50
 SBLI $29.67 $44.28 $104.57 $272.92
 Transamerica $32.68 $65.36 $139.32 $388.72
 Guardian Life $57.00 $87.00 $173.00 $468.00

*All rates quoted on this page are for a super-preferred healthy individual who does not use tobacco. Monthly rates are updated as of Dec 2018 and are subject to underwriting approval.*
** Guardian Life Insurance quotes are taken from their website.**

Bottom Line

Guardian Life has outstanding financial ratings, and they have been around for over 150 years. I don’t have access to their whole or universal life prices, and if you are in the market for permanent coverage, you should get a quote from them and compare it to others’. I like the fact that they are a mutual company which pays dividends to its policyholders.

I can, however, attest to its term life coverage—which is overpriced. It costs about twice as much as what the company with the lowest rate is selling it for (see table above). I would have a difficult time justifying it if I were marketing that product.

If you are seeking term life, I would advise you to steer away because there are better options for you. You can go ahead and use the form on the right-hand-side to compare term life insurance quotes from 50 A-rated carriers.

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