June 20, 2024

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Term, Whole, Variable, Universal Life

Term, Whole, Variable, Universal Life

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Guardian life insurance pros and cons

Guardian life insurance offers term, whole, universal, and variable universal life policies 

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating


AM Best Financial Strength Rating

A++ (Superior)

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Rating


AM Best Financial Strength Rating

A++ (Superior)


  • Offered nationwide
  • Financial stability rating of A++ from AM Best
  • No medical exam is available
  • Unique coverage options like survivorship insurance and insurance for HIV applicants


  • Although you can get an online quote, you will need an agent to purchase a policy
  • Scored below the industry average in J.D. Power’s life insurance customer satisfaction survey

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More Information

  • Life insurance provider with online insurance calculator tool
  • Survivorship insurance and no medical exam policy

Guardian Life was established in 1860 in New York City. Guardian Life ranks #11 in J.D. Power’s life insurance customer satisfaction survey and is one of our top picks for best life insurance companies in 2022.

Guardian Life offers term and permanent policies. If you opt to purchase a term policy, you can choose between Guardian Life’s yearly renewable term, return of premium, decreasing term, and simplified issue policies. A permanent policy pays a death benefit, allows you to build cash value, and may pay dividends depending on your policy. For permanent life policies, Guardian Life offers whole life, universal life, and variable life policies. 

Additionally, Guardian Life offers unique coverage options such as survivorship insurance and insurance for applicants living with HIV.  

According to Guardian Life, to qualify for the HIV life insurance program you must: 

  • Self-identify as an individual living with HIV
  • Be on highly active anti-retroviral therapy for at least two years and demonstrate favorable lab results
  • Not have had an AIDS-defining illness
  • Be between ages 20 and 60
  • Under the care of a doctor specializing in HIV

Your life insurance premiums will vary based on several factors such as your age, health, lifestyle, and coverage amounts. To obtain a quote for your whole life or universal life policy, you must speak to a Guardian Life representative. However, you can use Guardian Life’s free quoting tool to get a quote for

term life insurance

. Here are some of the monthly premium estimates for a 30-year-old male and female non-smoker with a $1,000,000 term policy. 

30-year-old male, non-smoker, $1,000,0000 term life policy

30-year-old female, non-smoker, $1,000,0000 term life policy

Below is how Guardian Life rates compares to rates of other companies that offer life insurance. Guardian Life cost slightly more than its competitors. 

Data obtained from Insider’s life insurance average cost guide. Quotes were gathered for 35-year-old male and female, non-smokers, with a 30 year term policy of $250,000.

Below are the life insurance plans that Guardian Life offers: 

  • Yearly renewable term – A term life policy in which you pay a premium between 10 and 30 years that starts at lower rates then gradually increases over time. You can renew without a medical exam at the end of your term. 
  • Return of premium – A term life policy that pays back all of your premiums if you live to the end of your term. Premiums, however, are generally on the higher end for this policy. 
  • Decreasing term – This term life policy is typically purchased to pay off a large business loan or mortgage if the borrower dies. Premiums and benefits decrease over time as loans get paid off. 
  • Guaranteed and simplified issue – A term life policy that doesn’t require a medical exam. These premiums are level but typically higher and have a small death benefit. 
  • Whole life – This is a lifelong policy in which you pay level terms to receive a guaranteed death benefit. This policy also builds cash value in a tax-advantaged account. You also have the opportunity to receive dividends. 
  • EstateGuard policy — This policy is a survivorship life insurance that covers two people on one policy. With this policy, cash value increases after the first person dies, and the death benefit is paid to the beneficiary after the second person dies. 
  • HIV life insurance coverage  — Protection for applicants living with HIV is offered in term and whole life products. 
  • Universal life – This lifelong policy pays a death benefit, builds cash value in a tax-advantaged account, and allows you to raise or lower premiums as your circumstances change. 
  • Variable universal life – This lifelong policy pays a death benefit, offers premium flexibility, and offers control over where your investments go. 

Guardian Life also offers these additional policies and rider options:

  • Term conversion rider – This rider allows you to convert your term life insurance to a whole life policy without a medical exam. 
  • Guardian index participation feature (IPF) – Whole life rider that links a portion of their paid-up-additions cash value to the performance of an index. 
  • Waiver of premiums – Waives premiums if you cannot work due to sickness or injury. 
  • Waiver plus rider – This rider will pay your premiums if you cannot work and will waive your whole life policy premiums if you decide to convert from term life to whole life. 
  • Guaranteed renewability rider or clause – This rider allows you to renew your policy every year after your term expires but with much higher premiums. This coverage is helpful for people diagnosed with a terminal illness who have no other coverage options. 
  • Accelerated terminal illness rider – This rider allows the policyholder diagnosed with a terminal illness to access a portion of their death benefit while still alive.
  • Accidental death rider — This rider is an additional benefit to the standard death benefit if death is accidental. 
  • Charitable benefit rider – Get an extra 1% of your death benefit paid to the charity of your choice.
  • Accelerated benefit or living benefit rider — This rider pays a portion of your death benefit for medical costs for terminal or chronic illness.
  • Guaranteed insurability rider – This rider allows you to increase your death benefit without undergoing a new medical exam. 
  • Paid-up additions rider – This rider serves as additional insurance for non-guaranteed cash value and death benefit, which can help increase your cash value or death benefit over time.

Visit the Guardian Life’s website to learn more.

Guardian Life vs. Northwestern Mutual

Guardian Life and Northwestern Mutual are established life insurance carriers whose services are offered nationwide. Both providers have term, whole, universal, and variable life products. Guardian life is ranked lower than Northwestern Mutual in customer satisfaction, however, both are rated superior in financial strength.

Northwestern Mutual doesn’t have an online quoting tool to obtain premium estimates, but Guardian Life does. Guardian Life also has unique coverage options like survivorship insurance, insurance for people living with HIV, and a no medical exam option.

Guardian Life vs. MassMutual

Guardian Life and MassMutual are established life insurance carriers with nationwide service, and they both have term, whole, universal, and variable life products. Guardian life is ranked lower than MassMutual in customer satisfaction, however, both are rated superior in financial strength.

An easy-to-use digital platform, and the ability to consistently pay dividends to its members are some of the reasons why consumers choose Guardian Life. Both Like MassMutual and Guardian make it easy to obtain a term life insurance estimate online by using their quoting tools. 

Is Guardian Life trustworthy? 

Among all policy types, the NAIC Complaint Index shows that Guardian Life has fewer complaints compared to other top insurance companies. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is an insurance regulatory organization that protects consumer interests. The complaint index compares a company’s performance to other performance of other providers in the industry.

Guardian Life’s financial stability is strong with an AM’s Best rating of A++ (Superior). AM’s Best is a credit rating agency that assesses an insurance company’s ability to pay claims to its policyholders. A company that receives an A++ to B+ is stable in financial strength, while anything lower than a B means that a company is unstable or unable to meet its financial obligations. 

While Guardian Life is a legitimate insurance provider, it’s important to do your own research to ensure that it is the right insurance company for you. 

Guardian Life — Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How long does it take to process a claim at Guardian Life? 

For life, accidental death, and dismemberment, most claim decisions are made within 15 calendar days. For a death involving an accident, customers should expect to hear back in three to four weeks. If a claim is approved, a check is usually mailed two business days after the processing date and the policyholder should receive the payment in no more than ten days.

Can I submit a claim at Guardian Life for a coronavirus-related death? 

Yes. You must notify Guardian Life of the death via email at [email protected]. Subsequently you will receive a claim form.

How do I purchase a policy at Guardian Life?

To purchase a policy, you must contact an insurance agent at Guardian Life. While you can’t obtain a quote online for permanent life policies, Guardian Life has a free quoting tool you can you to estimate your term life insurance premiums.