For consumers who find comfort in working with some of the biggest names in the market, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America will be an appealing pick. It’s hard to find a company in this space with a longer history, as its roots can be traced to the mid-1800s. Today, the company is headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, New York. Beyond life insurance, Guardian Life also provides consumers the option to purchase other protective products like dental insurance, disability insurance, and much more.
As your search for the right life insurance policy continues, don’t overlook what can be found with Guardian Life. This article is going to break down some of their basic product offerings, riders, and more. Purchasing life insurance is an important choice, so you’ll want to do your homework before accepting the terms of any policy. We’ll help you get started with that homework by going over the features of Guardian Life below.
Types of Life Insurance Offered
The sheer number of types of life insurance options available today can make it intimidating to shop for a policy. Some people simply give up, or put off making this choice, because there are so many options available.
And while it can be overwhelming at the start, it’s actually beneficial to work with a carrier that offers many types of policies. That’s the case with Guardian Life Insurance, where you can pick from the most popular types of insurance on the market. As a starting point, Guardian offers policies that fall into the two major life insurance categories – term and whole.
Whole life insurance is a policy that goes with you for your entire life, so long as the premiums continue to be paid. That means there is a guaranteed payout on the policy, as your named beneficiaries will receive the death benefit when you pass. Whole life insurance is appealing because of the guaranteed payout, but it does come with higher premiums as a result.
Term life insurance, on the other hand, only lasts for a predetermined term length, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. This is less expensive, as there is no certain payout, and those who outlive the policy will not receive a benefit in exchange for their premiums. So, someone on a budget who wants coverage just in case may want to look at term policy options.
It is worth noting that there is another option available, often called universal life insurance, which is a whole life policy that adds a cash value to the mix. The policy accumulates a cash value over its life, and the owner of the policy can access that cash in the form of a loan for various purposes over the years. Anyone looking for lasting life insurance coverage along with a method of improving their overall financial planning may want to look at universal life.
A rider is nothing more than a type of coverage or feature that is tacked on to your life insurance policy. You can select from riders that offer all kinds of different benefits, although most of them will come with an additional charge. It’s up to you to decide if the value of what is offered by a rider is enough to justify the higher premium that will result.
Some of the notable riders offered by Guardian Life include the following. All riders may not be available for all types of policies or all customers, so inquire as to cost and availability when working on your quotes.
Long-term care rider. Life insurance benefits are typically focused on the financial needs of beneficiaries after the insured individual dies. But what if the insured needs expensive medical care over a long period of time while still alive? This rider can account for those costs. Long-term care is a common need for older individuals, and it is often very expensive. Adding a long-term care rider to a life insurance policy will offer a benefit that is paid out before the insured passes away.
Charitable benefit rider. This is an interesting rider that is included with every term life Guardian policy. The idea is simple – when a claim is made and the death benefit is paid out, an additional payment will be made to the charity of your choice. A meaningful way to give back to a community that is important to you, this rider comes at no additional charge.
Care conversion option rider. To add this rider, you will need to select it initially when first taking out your term life policy. Then, if you decide to switch to a whole life policy at any point during the first five years of coverage, you’ll be guaranteed the option to add the Accelerated Death Benefit for Long Term Care Services when you make that switch. Without this rider, that benefit may not be available to you, depending on circumstances.
If there are other types of riders that you are interested in adding to your policy, there is a good chance that Guardian Life will offer those, as well. Be sure to inquire about all rider options while assembling a policy that is customized to your situation.
Notable Features of Guardian Life Insurance
In addition to life insurance, Guardian Life also offers disability insurance. This is another important financial planning tool, and if you would like to secure this type of policy in addition to life insurance, buying from the same carrier could make things easier. With disability insurance, you’ll be covered if you lose your ability to work because of an illness or injury. It’s particularly important to have disability insurance in place for a family that relies heavily on one person to provide most or all of the financial support.
Researching financial ratings for various life insurance companies is a smart step to take before choosing your policy. You’ll want to be sure that any life insurance company is going to be able to pay out on your death benefit, so your beneficiaries get the financial help they need in a difficult time. A company that is having financial trouble currently might be at risk of not being available to make your payment on a term or whole life policy at some point in the future.
With Guardian Life, you can be confident that your policy is backed by a sound organization. Fitch provides Guardian with an AA+ rating, a rating that is mirrored by A.M. Best Company and Standard & Poor’s. Financial ratings won’t be the only element you consider while shopping for coverage, but it’s good to know that you can expect your policy to be honored with Guardian. Life insurance companies typically have stronger ratings than average companies due to their large cash reserves.
Guardian Life tends to earn strong reviews and praise from many customers. There are minimal complaints regarding issues with claims and other common problems that life insurance customers can face, which is probably not surprising given the long history that Guardian has in this industry. While every life insurance company – and every company in general – will get its share of negative reviews, those are rather limited when evaluating the performance of Guardian.
As an added bonus that will appeal to some policy shoppers, Guardian is a mutually-owned company, and those who take out a whole life insurance policy will be able to share in annual dividends. Those dividend payments have been going out for more than 150 years, and might be just the incentive you need to opt with this carrier over the competition.
Application Process Overview
If you would like to take out a policy with Guardian, you’ll need to work with an agent to do so. This is something that can be seen as both a positive and a negative. On the downside, working with an agent might be more of a burden than just getting on a website and submitting an application. Many life insurance companies will sell directly to you without an agent getting involved, and that experience is appreciated by some customers.
On the other side, however, the opportunity to go through an agent can help you get precisely the policy you need. That agent should understand the various coverages offered by Guardian, how they work, and what riders are available. If you have questions about anything or aren’t sure which policy is right for you, getting direct help from a professional may be welcomed. You’ll need to decide for yourself whether this type of application and purchase process is something you would appreciate.
Is Guardian Life Insurance Legit?
You need to look no further than the size of Guardian Life Insurance to know that this is a legitimate operation with a major presence in the life insurance space (as well as many other markets). It’s firmly planted within the Forbes 500 and has a network that ranges from coast to coast. Take a closer look at their policy options to see how they stack up to other offerings from competitors and choose the plan that blends the right combination of benefits and premium cost for your family.