Guardian Life Insurance Review (Companies + Rates)
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UPDATED: Dec 9, 2020
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|Key Info||Company Specfics|
|Current Executives||CEO - Deanna M. Mulligan|
|Number of Employees||4,810|
|HQ Address||7 Hanover Square Manhattan, New York City, New York|
|Best For||Whole Life Insurance|
Shopping for life insurance can be daunting and exhausting. Getting to know all the different types of life insurance policies is a feat in itself but becoming familiar with different insurance companies can seem harder to manage.
Every company will try and make itself sound perfect and great. That is where reviews like this come into play. Below, we will explore Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in full. By the end, you should have an idea as to whether Guardian Life is a viable option for you.
But wait! Sometimes a company can seem great but not offer the best price option for you. That’s why shopping around is worth the time.
Shave some of that time off by starting to compare life insurance rates now. Use our FREE tool on the right!
Guardian Life’s Ratings
|A.M. Best||A++ (Superior)|
|S&P||AA+ (Very Strong)|
|NAIC Complaint Index-Group Life||0.18|
|NAIC Complaint Index-Individual Life||0.13|
|J.D. Power||3 out of 5 power circles
Best’s credit ratings are forward-looking, independent, and objective opinions regarding insurer’s, issuer’s, or financial obligation’s relative creditworthiness. In short, it allows the consumer a professional risk assessment of any rated company.
Best’s Financial Strength Ratings focus on how well the company can hold up its end of the bargain. Guardian Life is categorized as having a superior ability to attend to its financial obligations. Thus, they received an A++ rating.
Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The BBB ratings do not focus on money but on the interactions between business and consumers. It is important to note that customer reviews are not used; only public sources and those directly from businesses are taken into consideration.
There are seven rating elements the BBB evaluated before deeming Guardian Life as an A+ company. An A+ company simply means that they have received minimal complaints throughout their long operating history.
Moody’s uses 10 factors to provide the framework for their ratings. They utilize historical and forward-looking data to rate the financial strength of companies by focusing on business, economic, and operating factors.
Guardian Life was rated Aa2, which, in short, is considered excellent. In more technical terms, Guardian Life is deemed to be of high quality and subject to very low credit risk.
Standard & Poor (S&P)
At S&P, credit ratings provide forward-looking credit risk which assists in developing smooth-functioning capital markets by providing information and insight to market participants. S&P gave Guardian Life a very strong rating of AA+.
Guardian Life has a very strong ability to cover all financial commitments. This also means that they are a low credit risk.
NAIC Complaint Index
The purpose of a National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index is to compare the performances of different companies. To determine a company’s index, you must divide the number of complaints by the number of premiums written.
According to NAIC, Guardian Life’s group life insurance only had two complaints in 2018, out of the more than $600 million of premiums written. This resulted in a 0.18 index. The higher the index number the more complaints; 1.00 is the national average.
For individual life insurance, Guardian Life had six complaints out of the $3.3 billion of premiums written. This gave them another index way below average, 0.13.
J.D. Power uses a five-star rating system. The three stars that Guardian Life earned shows that they are rated about average by consumers. They use four factors to average out an overall satisfaction:
- Annual statement and billing
- Policy offerings
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Guardian Life’s story begins over 150 years ago, in New York City. In 1860, at Delmonico’s restaurant, 21 German-American businessmen, led by civil rights lawyer Hugo Wesendonck, created the Germania Life Insurance Company of America.
Right out of the gate, the company demonstrated its commitment to being financially stable for the long-term benefit of its clients. It was able to raise twice the equity capital required by New York State law.
Initially, the company aimed to provide coverage for the expanding German population arriving on the United States Eastern shore. Over the next few years, the company spread throughout the country.
The spreading continued back across the pond, making it the first U.S. company to start an agency in Europe. Nearly half of its business occurred in Europe before tragedy struck. World War I caused the company to dial it back from European affairs.
The end of the war also signaled a title change for the company. The company was renamed to “The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America” in 1918. More change occurred when, in 1925, Guardian Life became wholly owned by its policyholders, rather than being a mixed stock and mutual company.
In 1957, Guardian Life enters the market of employee benefits. After another 40 years of growing financial stability, Guardian Life continues its expansion, this time focusing on individual disability income insurance. To achieve this, Guardian Life merged with Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America.
Twelve years later, Guardian Life absorbs Reed Group, a major player in absence management services. It also acquired Premier Access Insurance Company and Avēsis, in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
Premier Access was the gateway for Guardian Life to expand into the individual dental market. Avēsis is a government contract vision, dental and hearing provider and boosts Guardian Life market presence.
Guardian Life’s Market Share
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has quite a few subsidiaries, some are mentioned above: Berkshire Life Insurance Co. of America, Premier Access, Avēsis, and Reed Group. However, these are just large milestone subsidiaries.
There are several other subsidiaries of Guardian Life, including, The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company Inc., First Commonwealth companies, and Innovative Underwriters, Inc. These companies and more operate all across the U.S. and its territories.
Guardian Life is a large company making it a big competitor. For the last three years, Guardian Life has held strong to its market share ranking of eleven for life insurance in the U.S. and its territories.
In 2016, Guardian Life wrote $3,805,813,094 worth of premiums. This accounted for 2.45 percent of the market that year. The following year, 2017, Guardian Life wrote $3,965,337,652 worth of premiums and boosted themselves to 2.7 percent.
Last year, in 2018, the company continued to increase the number of premiums written, $4,033,541,401, but it’s market share percentage went down to 2.46 percent. Over the last few years, Guardian Life has seen consistent growth while maintaining its same competitive position.
In 2018, Guardian Life generated $13,014,900,000 worth of revenue, which was a 4.5 percent increase from the previous year. The company also increased its profits by 2.1 percent, which was $464,900,000. Overall, it is safe to say that Guardian Life is a financially sound company.
Guardian Life’s Position for the Future
For the past few years, Guardian Life’s market share level has put them just outside of the top 10 insurance companies. Guardian Life has averaged about 2.5 percent, which can sound tiny but when compared to Northwestern Mutual’s 8.2 percent from last year, the gap to the top doesn’t seem so big.
Given that every year Guardian Life’s number of premiums written and profits increase, I would venture to say that Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is not going anywhere any time soon.
Guardian Life’s Online Presence
In the age of the internet, a company’s online presence can make or break them. Guardian Life, fortunately, has a fairly strong online presence. It extends beyond Guardian Life’s own website and a reasonably detailed Wiki page.
Social media platforms are where a majority of people obtain their information. Guardian Life must know how important social media is because it has a profile for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. It even has its own YouTube channel.
On Facebook, the company has over 68,000 followers. It has also enabled its page to have a chat window pop-up for the user. The computer-generated chat asks if there is anything that it can help with.
Another interesting aspect of how Guardian Life uses social media is posted on its Instagram profile. The company has turned its slogan into its own hashtag: #EveryonedeservesaGuardian.
YouTube channels aren’t just a platform for commercials. Guardian Life’s videos cover a variety of topics for consumers, including understanding life insurance and customer stories. There are also videos about working at Guardian Life and how Guardian Life helps the community.
Guardian Life in the Community
Hugo Wesendonck, the founder of Guardian Life, was a civil rights lawyer whose main goal was to help protect those within the community. That goal has not changed for Guardian Life, but rather has expanded over the years.
There are four areas in which Guardian Life intentionally aides the community: Financial Empowerment, Health & Wellness, Workforce Development, and Environmental Sustainability. The company also partners with numerous companies and foundations to sponsor programs.
Money Management for Life™ is a program where Guardian Life works with community colleges to offer a free, for-credit personal finance course. This program has benefited 5,500 students at fourteen colleges.
Guardian Life is an important contributor to the Children’s Health Fund. CHF is a non-profit organization that assists America’s most vulnerable children with obtaining medical and oral healthcare.
Technological developments make workforce development a priority. Guardian Life likes to help power the future which is why they contribute to Per Scholas, which is an institution that offers IT training.
Every local office, since 2016, has a Community Involvement Committee, that promotes Guardian Life’s dedication to the community. There are also a few “Green Teams,” which are employee-led and to engage and inform other employees.
It is important to Guardian Life to be environmentally conscious and friendly. They have built LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) offices to maximize efficiency. The Bethlehem office uses 100 percent renewable energy.
Below are a few more examples of community benefit programs that Guardian Life is affiliated with:
- Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City
- NYC Center for Youth Employment
- Girls Who Code
- Harbor House’s Step Up Program
Guardian Life’s Employees
A company’s employees sell the company just as much as they sell the product; ratings and polls can make or break a company’s hiring process. The internet has made it easy to size up a company as a potential employee.
Glassdoor also says that 56 percent would recommend working at Guardian Life to a friend. Another interesting statement is that 72 percent approve of the CEO.
Another company that provides more statistics about working at Guardian Life is a Great Place to Work®:
- 76 percent of employees say that Guardian Life is a great place to work.
- 91 percent say people are treated fairly at Guardian Life regardless of sex.
- 90 percent say that it is a friendly place to work.
- 86 percent say that people are given a lot of responsibility.
- 86 percent say that people feel welcome when they join the team.
- 84 percent say that they were able to take time off when necessary.
Let’s say that you aren’t completely convinced by Johnny or Sarah’s reviews or the anonymous polling. There are other ways to assess the worth of working at Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
The Fortune 500 list is one of the most popular ways to evaluate a company. Over the last 10 years, Guardian Life has been ranked between 218 and 254. This year they are currently sitting at 244.
Now some of you may think rankings and reviews are all fine and dandy but, what about the money? What about the benefits? You know the good stuff. Payscale.com provides salary and bonus information as well as information about benefits. To start with, the average salary is $71,000, and the average bonus is $5,000.
To put that average salary in perspective, the range of salaries is from $29,000 to $135,000. Unfortunately, the pay range varies from male to female.
Females constitute 52.2 percent of Guardian Life’s staff and have a pay range of $37,000 to $109,000. However, males who make up 47.8 percent of the staff have a pay range of $33,000 to $136,000.
The averages above vary depending on the job held within the company. However, that doesn’t discredit the value of the information. Sometimes it is more about the benefits than the money.
A few of the available benefits from Guardian Life include: 401K, paid holidays/vacations, life insurance/disability, paid sick leave, and education reimbursement.
Here is a video to showcase how important employees are to Guardian Life.
Shopping for Life Insurance
Before you starting sifting through countless websites and insurance policies, you are going to want to evaluate your life. It will be easier to choose the right policy for yourself when you inventory your need first.
What do you want your life insurance policy to do? Who do you need to protect? How much are you willing to pay? These are all important questions to ask yourself.
Life insurance policies are about kids, colleges, mortgages, and retirement. It isn’t only about the end of life. Life insurance can help you live a more peaceful and protected life.
Unfortunately, 61 percent of people do not buy life insurance or more of it because of other financial priorities, according to the 2018 Insurance Barometer Study, Life Happens and LIMRA. In the same study, it is revealed that 44 percent of Millennials overestimate the cost of life insurance by five times the actual amount.
Before deciding not to buy life insurance because you feel like you can’t afford it, make sure to compare quotes. You may be surprised at what you can afford.
Average Guardian Life Male vs. Female Life Insurance Rates
Every insurance company will differ on policies and prices. Conveniently, Guardian Life provides an estimator tool on their website. I have put together a few tables with some average rates based on an average salary of $30,000 to keep it simple.
So for a 30-year-old female who does not smoke, she’s looking at monthly payments as low as $37/month for a 10-year term policy. On the upper end of things, that same female could have a 30-year term policy that costs $87/month. For only $2 more per month, she could switch to whole life insurance for $89.
|Rates For Female Non-Smoker||25-year-old||30-year-old||35-year-old||40-year-old||45-year-old||50-year-old|
|10-Yr Term to Whole||$38||$39||$39||$56||$57||$84|
|15-Yr Term to Whole||$42||$42||$46||$64||$67||$98|
|20-Yr Term to Whole||$52||$53||$63||$85||$84||$117|
|30-Yr Term to Whole||$83||$89||$96||$135||$142||$220|
Let’s say that female is actually a smoker; her payments are going to be higher. A 10-year term will run her $107/month, while a 30-year term would cost $253/month. Switching over to whole life would only cost $2 or $4 more, respectively.
A non-smoking female looking for a 10-year term will spend about $74/month, while a female who smokes will spend $236/month. That is more than three times the amount. Moreover, the non-smoker would only pay $204/month for a 30-year term, which is not even offered to smokers of that age.
|Rates For Female Smokers||25-year-old||30-year-old||35-year-old||40-year-old||45-year-old||50-year-old|
|10-Yr Term to Whole||$89||$109||$130||$184||$181||$256|
|15-Yr Term to Whole||$91||$110||$133||$196||$197||$282|
|20-Yr Term to Whole||$118||$146||$184||$273||$267||$366|
|30-Yr Term||$203||$253||$311||$498||$447||Not Available|
|30-Yr Term to Whole||$205||$257||$320||$516||$467||Not Available|
The longer you wait to buy a plan, the more it will cost. Later on in this article, factors that affect the costs of life insurance will be discussed, and age will be one of them. But first, let’s look at the sample rates for male policyholders.
For the male counterpart, life insurance will be a little more expensive. A 30-year-old male non-smoker will pay roughly $42/month for a 10-year term policy and $107/month for a 30-year term. If we factor in a switch to permanent insurance his range becomes $44-$110/month.
|Rates For Male Non-Smoker||25-year-old||30-year-old||35-year-old||40-year-old||45-year-old||50-year-old|
|10-Yr Term to Whole||$44||$44||$44||$62||$67||$107|
|15-Yr Term to Whole||$49||$49||$52||$76||$84||$141|
|20-Yr Term to Whole||$62||$66||$70||$100||$115||$177|
|30-Yr Term to Whole||$104||$110||$125||$173||$201||$297|
A 50-year-old, non-smoking male would pay about $96/month for a 10-year term and $276/month for a 30-year term.
I bet you have guessed it. If that guy was a smoker, he would be charged more for life insurance — anywhere between $148-$316/month based on the same scenarios.
|Rates For Male Smoker||25-year-old||30-year-old||35-year-old||40-year-old||45-year-old||50-year-old|
|10-Yr Term to Whole||$136||$150||$165||$247||$257||$386|
|15-Yr Term to Whole||$137||$151||$166||$253||$272||$424|
|20-Yr Term to Whole||$158||$179||$206||$334||$354||$543|
|30-Yr Term||$277||$313||$346||$622||$593||Not Available|
|30-Yr Term to Whole||$279||$316||$355||$637||$608||Not Available|
We see again that the smoker is not eligible for a 30-year term option.
Many insurance companies, including Guardian Life, are in the business of selling more than just life insurance. Guardian Life makes itself available to provide health, dental, vision insurance as well as wealth protection.
A great aspect of Guardian Life is that they offer individual and group insurance. So, Johnny can get himself a policy through Guardian Life just as easy as Sarah can find coverage for her entire team.
Types of Coverage Offered
When buying life insurance, there are two main types of policies: temporary and permanent. Temporary life insurance is usually called term life insurance, whereas permanent life insurance policies are either whole or universal.
Most insurance companies also offer riders, which are additional features to add on to your policy. The extra protection can come in handy.
So let’s get down to business and help you decide what type of coverage is right for you.
As mentioned above, term life insurance is a temporary type of insurance. Generally speaking, term life is the most affordable and predictable type of insurance.
Guardian Life offers terms of 10, 15, 20, or 30 years. The payments are level, meaning they will never change throughout your policy. Term life insurance may sound basic, but Guardian Life does offer options to spruce up your policy.
There are always options available to add more benefits to your policy. One of the best aspects of this type of policy is that when the time comes, your beneficiaries will receive a tax-free payment.
As we all know, life can change in unexpected ways, especially over a decade or two. Let’s say you’re 12 years into your 15-year term and are now more concerned with your retirement rather than how your spouse would afford diapers and formula.
Guardian Life offers the ability to convert your term policy into a permanent policy where you can build up a cash value to assist your finances while still alive. Those two types of permanent policies are whole and universal.
Whole life insurance is called a permanent policy because it truly is for your entire life. Just like with term insurance, your premiums never increase, but, the big difference between the two is that whole life has a cash value component.
A cash value with this type of policy will have a fixed interest with which it will grow. In other words, the cash value on whole life insurance plans is not dependent on fluctuating market interest rates. There is, however, a benefit that only whole life insurance policyholders can receive.
Since Guardian Life is a mutual life insurance company, there is a possibility of the end of year dividends for their policyholders. Guardian Life has made this benefit only available for whole life policyholders. The dividend varies from year to year and should be viewed as a bonus addition to your cash value.
The consistent growth of the cash value aspect of these policies can help ease the stress financially when life happens. Your cash value can help with the unexpected, but also education, retirement, a business loan, or even a down payment on a house.
Now there are two ways to access your cash value: withdrawing and borrowing. It is important to think carefully and understand fully about which way you want to access your cash.
Just like with term policies, the actual death-benefit that would be paid out to your beneficiaries is tax-free. Your cash value is considered to be tax-advantaged, this means that you will not be taxed as your money grows.
When you withdraw money, in most cases, you will not be charged income tax. However, it is important to be aware of any restrictions your specific policy has as to how long the policy has to be active to take some of that cash value.
The other option for when you need some extra money is to ask your issuer for a loan; your cash-value would be used as collateral. The loan may be subject to varying interest rates, but under most circumstances is not taxable.
– Whole Life Insurance for Healthy People Living with HIV
Trying to find a life insurance company that offers coverage for those living with HIV was a nearly impossible feat until Guardian Life introduced their HIV whole life insurance option. The premiums are higher, but the amount of coverage is just like other policies and can range from $25,000-$2,000,000.
There is a huge emphasis on the fact that the policyholder must be healthy. Below are the requirements provided by Guardian Life to qualify for a whole life insurance policy.
- Self-identify as an individual living with HIV
- Be on highly active antiretroviral therapy for at least two years and demonstrate favorable lab results
- Not have had an AIDS-defining illness
- Be between ages 20-60
- Under the care of a doctor specializing in HIV
While whole life insurance is full of guarantees, universal life insurance is full of flexibility. This type of insurance is for those who demand more freedom from their life insurance policy, such as those whose income varies from month to month.
With being able to have the freedom to adjust your payments, one must also be responsible and mindful of your death benefit. The cash value aspect of this policy can be used to pay your premiums, but it will eventually dig into your death benefits.
Two big differences between whole and universal life are that universal life is affected by the current interest rates, meaning nothing is ever locked in. Another difference is that universal life policyholders are ineligible to receive company dividends.
– Variable Universal Life
For the investors and risk-takers out there, variable universal life insurance may be right for you. With this kind of policy, you can invest in the stock market through a separate account.
Guardian Life provides a variety of investment choices to suit all risk tolerances.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
Guardian Life’s AD&D insurance is available through employer plans, both employee only and family coverage. There are, however, two types: standard and enhanced. Standard provides traditional coverage for specific accidental losses.
Enhanced AD&D, however, will also include catastrophic loss, seat-belt and airbag repatriation, daycare expense, child education, and spousal education and retraining.
Generally, AD&D insurance is available as a rider or additional feature that can be added to insurance policies. However, through Guardian Life, AD&D insurance can be purchased as a standalone product.
With all the medical advancements, people are living longer and Guardian Life offers additional coverage to help with that. Guardian’s Long-Term Care Rider allows the policyholder to access money from a part of the life insurance policy.
Another rider that Guardian Life offers is connected to cash value portions rather than the life insurance itself. The Index Participation Feature (IPF) allows policyholders to link a portion of their cash value to the S&P 500 Price Return Index.
Factors That Affect Your Rate
With all the different insurance companies and types of policies, it is easy to lose focus on yourself. Several personal characteristics can affect your rates. We must remember that the insurance companies’ goals are to maximize profits and the number of premiums while assessing and minimizing the risks.
Age is the number-one factor when it comes to setting a price for life insurance premiums. The younger you are, the lower your rates tend to be. As we age our odds of dying increase, thus life insurance rates will also increase.
Gender is another factor that lies outside of our control when it comes to affecting life insurance rates. In general, women live longer than men and we know that a longer life expectancy is equal to lower rates.
Current Health & Family Medical History
A medical exam — where blood pressure, cholesterol, and the heart are looked at and assessed, as well as overall health evaluation — must be performed before most life insurance companies will agree to insure you.
Here’s an interesting fact: if you are switching from term to whole life insurance with Guardian Life, there is no additional medical exam required. It is good to know though that there is such a thing as no exam life insurance.
Insurers may also request your full health records before insuring you. This is to check for serious conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes Type 1 or Type 2, or high blood pressure, which would increase your rates.
Some of these medical conditions can be managed or minimized. However, there is a medical history that cannot be overshadowed or diminished. Complicated family medical history (i.e. stroke, cancer) and pre-existing medical conditions of your own often harm life insurance rates.
Some companies will deny life insurance because of certain conditions, such as cancer or HIV. Guardian Life is one such company that offers life insurance to healthy people living with HIV.
What you do for a living may influence how much you are charged for life insurance. Insurance companies won’t pass up the opportunity to charge you more due to you having a high-risk occupation. Even employers of such jobs will be charged more for group life insurance because of the increased risk.
Usually, people think of police officers and firemen first when thinking about dangerous jobs. However, construction and transportation are two industries with extremely high numbers of fatal work injuries. Also, if you dreamed of going out to catch tuna off the coast of Alaska, you might want to think again.
Insurers are fascinated with your everyday life choices. One such choice they are interested in is smoking; smoking causes insurers to increase their rates. If you devalue your life by making unhealthy choices, the insurance companies will charge you more to compensate for the risk.
Smoking is a major behavior evaluated, but it is not the only one. If you are one of the millions of people who have speeding, reckless driving, or DWI/DUI violations on your driving record, an insurance company will see it and charge you accordingly.
To any of my fellow adrenaline junkies, our rates will be higher because of what we like to do for fun. High-risk activities, like skydiving or racing cars, can only increase your rates. However, how much weight each factor holds varies from company to company.
This is why getting quotes is so important when it comes to maximizing your policy and your dollar.
Veteran or Active Military Status
During active military service, there is a low-cost option called the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance or SGLI where you are automatically enrolled and under the maximum coverage if you qualify. You may deny or change the coverage, but it is available to all military members.
What happens when you are no longer active duty? Veterans who had an SGLI policy are eligible to switch to Veterans’ Group Life Insurance. A plus side to this that no proof of good health is necessary. There is, however, a maximum of $400,000-worth of coverage.
Getting the Best Rate with Guardian Life
Insurance rates don’t just vary because of you or the insurance company, rates can change from state to state. However, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) suggests that each state adopts the model laws and regulations designed to protect consumers.
It is not exactly easy to research and buy insurance. It’s good to know that NAIC recognizes that it is wrong to try and shakedown insurance consumers — but remember suggestions do not stop everyone.
Though it is highly important to be cautious and understand everything you are buying, with life insurance it is also important to not wait. Age and life expectancy are not just negative markers. The younger you are when you buy a policy, the better your rates will be. This is especially beneficial if you are planning to buy whole life insurance because your premiums will be locked in.
Eventually, we all die but there are hundreds of ways to stay healthy and boost your life expectancy. Replacing bad habits with healthier choices will help preserve you and your money.
Saving money by getting a discount can be a gratifying sensation. The best discounts we know of are usually the employee-only discount. Guardian Life has one of these for their life insurance plans. On the first day at work, Guardian Life employees are enrolled in a life insurance policy at no cost, and they may add on to the policy if they want.
Usually, another great way to save some money is by bundling. Guardian Life, unfortunately, does not offer multi-policy discounts for life insurance.
As mentioned above, Guardian Life offers whole life insurance for those living with HIV. It is safe to say that this group of people would get some of the best possible rates from Guardian Life.
Guardian Life’s Programs
The best way to keep a company growing is by providing support and opportunity for its employees. Guardian Life has three programs for employees:
- Leadership Development Training Program – Guardian Life offers three levels of leadership and management training. They have been recognized two years in a row as a Training Magazine Top 125 Training company.
- WorkLifeMatters Employee Assistance Program – Guardian Life provides web-based support for the well being of their employees and their families.
- Actuarial Program – Insurance actuaries are essential to Guardian Life’s success as a company. They provide training and internships to college students and professionals.
Perhaps these programs aren’t enough for you to go looking for a job at Guardian Life. I’m with you on that and so have come across a program that is beneficial to those who have policies through their employers.
Guardian Life’s College Tuition Benefit Program is a rewards-based program that aids you in saving for sending a child or loved one to college. A bonus with this program is that the more types of insurance bought through Guardian Life, the more rewards.
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Canceling Your Policy
More often than not, life doesn’t go as planned. So it is safe to say you would not be the first person to cancel your life insurance policy. This does not mean, however, that the insurance companies have to make it easy for you.
At the end of the day, the insurance company wants to continue selling you their product. That being said, do not expect an insurer’s website to have a big red “cancel” button for you. Nor should you be surprised when they try to make you stay.
How to Cancel
When it comes down to it, you will have to contact your insurance agent to make sure everything is sorted out. There are a few steps you can take to make this process as simple and foolproof as possible.
#1 – Do Your Research
Before you get the ball rolling, you should know exactly what you are getting yourself into. It is highly recommended that you meet with both a broker and accountant before deciding to cancel.
It is always best to fully understand your financial situation along with all your options. The work of these professionals, along with your due diligence, should make this process relatively painless.
#2 – Contact Your Agent
There is no getting around this step. For the process to be completed from start to finish, an agent has to be aware and working on your request. Agents are not just pawns, though.
Insurance agents can have valuable insight to help you make the right decision whether that is to continue to cancel your policy, switch policies, or even do a partial withdrawal. Your insurance agent should know all your options for that company.
#3 – Put Everything Into Writing
Even after scouring over all your options and talking to several professionals, you’re not in the free and clear just yet. You must put everything into writing: signatures, dates, the works.
I know in the age of technology this can seem stupid to some people, but sometimes the only guarantee is to do things the old-fashion way, so it is wise to not only mail in your cancellation request but also keep a copy for yourself.
#4 – Cancel Auto-Payments
Most insurance companies require you to set up automatic payments that come directly from your bank account. Occasionally mistakes happen, and though you cancel your policy, they may continue to take money out of your account, at least until the process is fully complete.
The best practice to avoid having any of your money tied up in a policy you are canceling is to cancel the auto-payments immediately. Usually, you can do this from your online account but I recommend also contacting a representative to ensure clarity.
#5 – Stay Aware
No matter how thorough you are, sometimes things will go wrong. It is important to keep an eye on your bank account and mail just in case. There can be mistakes and mix-ups but the sooner they are caught the faster they can be fixed.
How to Make a Claim
Though it can be a tragic and emotionally stressful time when a loved one dies, there is always the finances to make it harder. Life insurance companies know this and most try to make the claim process as easy as possible.
So with Guardian Life, if you have access to the deceased’s Guardian Anytime online account, you can easily start your claims process there. However, if that isn’t possible, you should call the agent associated with the account.
There are some documents you will to have and/or fill out. The biggest one is the death certificate. It is wise to make several copies of the death certificate, but you will also need a certified copy from the funeral director.
A claimant statement must also be made by the beneficiary as well as a physician’s statement. Below is an example of what that can look like on a claim form:
For more state-specific Guardian Life claims forms, click here.
Once you have everything you think you need, double check with your agent. Then you can focus on other things as the claim is processed.
If all your paperwork is in order, it can take on average 1-2 months. There are maximum lengths of time designated by states that can vary, so as always ask your agent about the laws of your state.
How to Get a Quote Online
Let’s face it, you can sit on the internet and research life insurance companies until you become part of the chair but, the best way to move forward is by actually getting a quote.
Guardian Life has a quote tool on its website, but another way to get a quote if you have a few more questions is to contact an advisor. Let’s walk through using the quote tool, shall we?
#1 – Go to Guardian Life’s Home Page
This is what that page should look like. If yours doesn’t make sure you check the URL: guardianlife.com
#2 – Hover Over “What We Offer”
At the top of the page on the right of the Guardian logo, there is a tab “What we offer.” When you put your cursor over this, it will give you a menu with many more options.
#3 – Click on “Life Insurance Quote”
On the right side of the drop-down menu, under “Tools to help you plan,” click on the first option of “Life insurance quote.”
#4 – Fill Out Your Information
Once you click on the insurance quote tool, you will be directed to the page shown below, where you will enter your information to receive a term life insurance quote.
#5 – Review & Adjust Your Quote
Below is an example of how the quote looks with the form filled out. On the left, it gives you an estimated monthly rate, here it is $67/month. On the right, Guardian Life has provided options to change your quote based on term length and how much coverage your plan would have, which is circled in red.
Underneath that, there is an option to see what your rate would look like for a permanent policy, which is circled in green.
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Design of Website/App
Almost anyone with a smartphone would prefer to have an app to manage their accounts. Why should life insurance be any different? Guardian Life has attempted to provide its customers with an app that will allow access to accounts and policies.
Unfortunately, it does not look like Guardian Life has had much success with the app. On Google Play there have only been a little over 1,000 downloads. The seven reviews about Guardian Life’s app are not very good. There seem to be bugs and overly simple software that makes using it a hassle.
Guardian Life’s website is easier to use and has more information. There are five main categories that they list along the top of the homepage that allows the user to easily navigate the website.
By utilizing drop-down menus for the five categories, the website is able to stay simple and uncluttered while still allowing the user to find whatever information they are after.
Pros & Cons
To state the obvious, no company could ever be perfect, and finding the best one for you can be overwhelming. That’s why it is always nice to highlight some of the good as well as the bad when weighing your options.
When buying life insurance you are putting a lot of trust into a company. Your trust must be well informed.
- Policyholders can convert their term life policy into a whole life policy without an additional medical exam.
- Whole life insurance policyholders get paid annual dividends because Guardian Life is a mutual life insurance company.
- Employees’ well being at work and home, as well as their development within the company, is of utmost importance for Guardian Life.
- There is an online option for managing your account and policy, Guardian Anytime.
- One of the first life insurance companies to offer whole life insurance to healthy people living with HIV.
- Annual dividends are not paid to term or universal policyholders.
- The mobile app is not efficient for users.
- There is not a discount given just for having multiple policies.
The Bottom Line
Now that we have seen what Guardian Life has to offer, let’s talk about what to do next. Remember, Guardian Life is just one of many insurance companies out there. That’s why the most important step you can take when buying life insurance is to shop around.
Guardian Life has options that some companies don’t offer, like whole life for those with HIV or being able to convert your term policy into a permanent one. Features like these should never be stand-alone reasons to buy from a company but they are things to be mindful of.
In reality, many life insurance policies and features can be fairly similar. Another non-stand-alone reason for choosing one company over the other is price. Obtaining quotes online can be fast, especially if you use our free tool on the right.
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Guardian Life FAQs
#1 – Who can be a beneficiary?
You can choose whoever you want to be your beneficiary. They do not have to be U.S. citizens. If you wish to choose more than one beneficiary you can; you must include what percentage each beneficiary is to receive.
#2 – How often are dividends paid to Guardian Life policyholders? How much?
Dividends are paid annually to those who have whole life policies. The Dividend Interest Rate is subject to change but was 5.85 percent in 2018.
#3 – Does Guardian Life require a medical exam?
Yes, Guardian Life requires a medical exam before underwriting any life insurance policy. The only exception is when a term life policy is being converted into a whole life policy; no additional exam would be required.
#4 – Does Guardian Life offer more than life insurance?
Guardian Life’s name may be misleading considering they do offer more than life insurance. They have health, dental, and vision insurance plans, as well. Financial protection is a top priority for Guardian Life.
#5 – What happens to my cash value when I die?
Upon death, the cash value aspect of a policy will be added to the death benefit or forfeited to the insurance company.
Don’t wait. Get a FREE life insurance quote now by clicking on our tool below.