Few true mutual life insurance companies remain today when compared to their counterparts, stock held companies, and Guardian is one of those large mutuals. However, depending on exactly what type of life insurance you need, it may or may not have a large impact.
In short, a person looking for a permanent policy would see more benefits from a mutual company, whereas a person needing basic term coverage would likely be better off elsewhere in most situations.
With those points in mind, here is our Guardian Life Insurance Company review, which will offer you insight on the company’s history, their products, and financial strength. This review should only be a part of your full due diligence before you apply to any one company for coverage. Let’s dive in.
Our Guardian Life Insurance Company of America Review
One of the oldest life insurance companies in America, Guardian began in 1860 by the hands of Hugo Wesendonck alongside 20 other men; at the time, the company’s name was Germania Life Insurance Company of America.
The company outgrew the state of New York quite quickly, and was spread across several states in just a matter of years. In fact, they were across the sea with an office in Europe by 1868, the first of any other U.S. based insurance company to do so. In 1917, the insurer made its official name change, to which it still goes by today, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
Less than a decade later, the Guardian switched to being a fully mutual company, meaning stock was no longer offered as ownership. The only way to become an owner in the company is to own a policy with the company. Thereby, policyholders are the owners, and to this day, Guardian remains one of the most prestigious life insurance companies among the mutual insurers.
By the year 1957, Guardian began offering additional products outside of life insurance, including a major push towards employee benefits. Over the next 30 years, this would prove to be a large portion of Guardians expansion.
Guardian’s Financial Ratings
Guardian continues to be atop the major companies in the life insurance industry, paying dividends to its policyholders for 125 years running, and acquiring an almost perfect slate of financial ratings from the major ratings agencies. Those are A.M Best, Fitch, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s.
Here are the ratings they received from each:
- A.M. Best – AA+
- Fitch – AA+
- Moody’s – Aa2
- Standard & Poor’s – AA+
- Comdex – 98
This is one of the key aspects that make The Guardian so attractive to consumers and businesses nationwide, as it puts itself in an elite class of insurers who show little to no fault whatsoever on the financial side.
Products from Guardian Life
The company hosts a full line of life insurance products, including:
- Term life insurance
- Universal life insurance
- Variable universal life insurance
- Whole life insurance
In addition, Long Term Care Insurance (LTCi) is available, along with disability insurance. Aside from insurance, it also has investment and retirement options available for families and individuals alike, with choices like 401(k), IRA, mutual funds and annuities.
It continues its group products as well, focusing on dental, disability and life. Similar retirement and investment options are made for business owners and their employees, as well as business continuation planning, but they can be individualized to suit the needs of situation accordingly.
We’re just going to focus on life insurance, from here forward.
Guardian Life has a few main benefits they like to discuss about their term products.
- Level Premiums
- Level Coverage
However, these aren’t anything new from the marketplace. While Guardian Life Insurance Company has level term products with 10, 15, 20 or even 30 year term lengths, so does virtually every carrier. And, in addition, the benefits of level coverage and payments is, by nature of the product, a given.
However, because they do have a such a strong focus on permanent products, their conversion option does have a profound value if you think those product options might be a part of your future financial portfolio.
Universal (and Variable)
A universal life product is one which allows a little bit of flexibility for the policy owner while still locking in some permanent benefit possibilities. The two kinds from Guardian, the universal and variable universal, are really only different in their investment and growth avenues.
While a universal is fixed in growth through interest and gains of cash value within the policy, a variable allows the owner to attempt to gain more by taking greater risks through mutual funds and stock market related means. You also need to deal with a registered representative from the carrier to purchase it.
The name of the game with a whole life product is permanence. However, when you deal with a mutual company like Guardian, you have the potential for extra growth. This is what makes Guardian so enticing for those who need both guarantees and some amount of permanent life insurance coverage.
While not guaranteed, Guardian Life Insurance Company has paid a dividend, which goes into the cash value portion of a whole life policy, and they’ve maintained some amount of dividend every single year going back as far as 1868.
The rest of the product is fairly straightforward, carrying level premiums, a guaranteed minimum death benefit, and a stated rate of growth. There is also access to cash via loans or surrender, but they do change how the product will grow in the future.
Accolades and Awards
Some of the more recent awards given to Guardian include the 2014 ICMI Best Customer Experience Award, and the 2013 American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Award.
The Guardian prides itself on helping the community and its members, making strides to assist the United Way, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Cancer Society, to name just a few.
Final Thoughts On Guardian
With a business structured to help individuals, families, small and large businesses, Guardian has cleared a path for long standing, trusted success. It has a seasoned history, and its long standing business model continues to be successful through the rising and falling tides of our economy year after year.
A great company you can trust with your universal or whole life products, you may want to find another company for term.
If you like to have your insurance and investments in one place, Guardian can help.