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Guardian Life Insurance Review 2020

Insurance, Life Insurance
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At a glance

  • Overall customer satisfaction score is above average.
  • Offers a full menu of term and permanent life insurance.
Shopping for life insurance during the pandemic? Be aware that insurers may have changed their products and policy applications. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

Guardian Life Insurance Co. is a mutual insurance company, meaning it’s owned by its policyholders. Customers who buy whole life insurance can share in annual dividends. The company has paid a dividend every year since 1868, and in 2020 will pay a record dividend of $982 million to its policyholders.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Guardian life insurance

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Guardian earned 5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best. Based on these ratings, Guardian is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies for 2020.

Life insurance options from Guardian Life include:

Term life. Guardian offers policies with terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. You can get an estimated quote for term life insurance on the company’s website, but you must contact a company advisor to buy a policy.

Permanent life. Guardian offers universal life and whole life insurance, including a whole life survivorship policy called Guardian EstateGuard. Survivorship life insurance insures two people, typically a married couple, on one policy. The death benefit is paid to the beneficiary after the second person dies. With the EstateGuard policy, the cash value increases after the first person dies. Another unique feature is policyholders can add more coverage in the early years of the policy.

Guardian also offers whole life policies to healthy people living with HIV. To qualify, an applicant must be:

  • Between ages 20 and 60.
  • On highly active anti-retroviral therapy for two or more years with favorable lab results.
  • Free of any AIDS-defining illnesses.
  • Under the care of a doctor specializing in HIV.

Guardian Life complaints and customer satisfaction

Over three years, Guardian Life has had significantly fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Guardian was rated “better than most” for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The insurer ranked No. 7 overall out of 24 life insurance companies evaluated.

Customer satisfaction category Guardian Life's score
Overall satisfactionBetter than most
Billing and paymentAbout average
PriceAbout average
Policy offeringsAbout average
InteractionBetter than most
CommunicationAbout average
Application processBetter than most

More about Guardian Life

In addition to life insurance, Guardian Life offers other financial products and services, such as:

  • Disability income insurance.
  • Annuities.
  • Wealth management and investments.
  • Individual dental and vision insurance.
  • Critical illness and accident insurance.
  • Workplace benefits, including a college tuition benefit.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the NAIC and A.M. Best scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.