Advertiser Disclosure

Guardian Life Insurance Review 2020

Insurance, Life Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. NerdWallet

At a glance

  • NerdWallet ranking: No. 3 life insurance company.
  • Overall customer satisfaction score is above average.
  • Offers a full menu of term and permanent life insurance.

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

Guardian Life ranks No. 3 on NerdWallet’s list of the best life insurance companies. NerdWallet evaluates the country’s largest life insurance companies based on financial strength, customer satisfaction and consumer complaints.

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 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: 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 and life insurance.