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Guardian disability insurance review 2020

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Protect your income with one of the most customizable long-term disability policies on the market.

finder.com’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Consider Guardian if… You want to personalize your policy with a long list of riders.
  • Look elsewhere if… You prefer to apply online or need short-term disability.

No

Short term disability

Yes

Long term disability

Details

Benefit period 2, 5 and 10 years to age 65, 67 and 70
Waiting period 30, 60, 90, 180, 365 or 720 days
Coverage amount $500–$20,000
Individual credit Student loan payments
Available states All 50 states (not all the policies are available in all states)
Policy riders Future increase option
Cost of living adjustment
Catastrophic disability
Loan payment protection
Specified injury benefit
Retirement income protection
Simplified issue No

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by


Katia Iervasi is a writer from sunny Sydney, Australia. Her writing — and curiosity — has taken her around the world, and she now calls chaotic, creative New York home. With a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance, mortgages and finance for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

In the individual disability insurance market, Guardian stands out for its customizable coverage and competitive rates for high-income earners. But it’s also known for strict underwriting standards for pre-existing conditions, and you can’t apply for a policy online.

To learn how Guardian stacks up to its competitors, compare disability insurance companies.

Built-in benefits and available policy riders

Benefits

  • Noncancelable and guaranteed renewal. As long as you pay your premiums, Guardian can’t adjust or cancel your coverage. The amount you pay each month is locked in even if your health changes.
  • Automatic benefit enhancement. Your benefit automatically increases for the first six years.
  • Occupational rehabilitation. Covers your occupation rehabilitation costs to help you to return to work after a disability.
  • Hospice care benefit. Skips over the elimination period if you’re on physician-ordered hospice care.
  • Waiver of premium. Guardian will waive your premiums while you receive disability benefits, and for another six months afterward.
  • Five-year waiver of elimination period. If your disability lasts more than six months and Guardian pays the benefits, it waives the elimination period for future disabilities lasting 30 days or more. Exclusive to Guardian, this benefit applies for five years.
  • Unemployment premium suspension. While you’re on unemployment, your benefits and premiums are temporarily suspended.

Riders

  • Future increase option. Increase your coverage to match your current income without going through the underwriting process again.
  • Cost of living adjustment. Boosts the monthly benefit while you’re on a claim.
  • Catastrophic disability. If you can’t perform two of the five activities of daily living (ADLs), the insurer pays an additional monthly benefit.
  • Loan payment protection. Offers extra income to cover your mortgage, car and student loan payments while you’re sick or injured.
  • Specified injury benefit. If you can’t work due to an injury, provides a lump-sum claims payment for a set number of weeks.
  • Retirement income protection. Opt into this rider, and the insurer makes monthly contributions to your pension plan or annuity during your long-term disability.

Guardian disability insurance reviews and complaints

Guardian is accredited with the Better Business Bureau, and has been in the biz for more than 150 years.

The BBB awards the company an A+ rating for its customer service and interaction based on internal criteria. It’s a different story with customers, however, who give Guardian just one out of five stars. This rating reflects the company as a whole, though, and not just its disability insurance department.

The BBB records 69 complaints over the past three years at the time of writing, with many customers complaining about Guardian’s frustrating claims process. Considering Guardian’s size and scope, this is a relatively low number of complaints.

Guardian’s financial strength

An insurer’s financial stability is incredibly important because you might not file a claim for years to come. Guardian scores top ratings from all the major agencies and currently manages $73.9 billion in assets. This means it’s likely to have the resources to pay out claims into the foreseeable future.

The insurer earns an “above average” rating for its customer satisfaction from J.D. Power.

AgencyRating
AM BestA++ (Superior)
Moody’sAa2 (Excellent)
Standard & Poor’sAA+ (Very Strong)
FitchAA+ (Very Strong)
J.D. Power3 out of 5 circles

Compare alternatives to Guardian

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Coverage Amount Benefit period Waiting period Own Occupation Medical exam required Online quote
Policygenius Disability Insurance
$100 to $20,000
2, 5, or 10 years or until age 65 or 67
60 - 365 days
Yes
Depends on provider
Yes
Get matched with one of 15 top life insurance companies to find the best coverage and rates for you.
Breeze
$500 to $20,000
1, 2, 5, or 10 years or until age 65 or 67
30 - 365 days
Yes
No
Yes
This startup offers some of the most riders and benefits backed by an established underwriter.
LeverageRx
$100 to $20,000+
1, 2, 5, or 10 years or until age 65 or 67
30 - 365 days
Yes
Depends on provider
Yes
LeverageRx is a digital lending and insurance marketplace exclusively for medical professionals.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I sign up for Guardian disability insurance?

Sign up for disability insurance through Guardian’s website:

  1. On Guardian’s homepage, hover over Insurance & Investments. Click Disability Income Insurance.
  2. Scroll to the green bar, and tap Get a Quote.
  3. Enter your gender, age, state and income. From the drop-down box, choose your occupation and a subcategory.
  4. The system generates a quote with your estimated monthly costs. Adjust your coverage amount, benefit period and elimination period as needed, and opt in to any riders. Click Contact a Representative.
  5. Type in your ZIP code to search for a Guardian rep near you.

More about Guardian

Founded in 1860, Guardian is one of the biggest mutual life insurance companies in the US. Insurance aside, it also offers a full suite of financial services, including annuities and investments. The Fortune 250 company has a strong presence across the country, with 8,800 employees and a network of more than 2,750 financial representatives.

Guardian’s disability insurance for small businesses

If you own a small business, you can take out a policy to protect it. If you can’t work as a result of an injury or illness, the policy kicks in to cover your company’s expenses, employee salaries and loan payments.

On the flipside, it can provide you with the cash you need to buy out a business partner who can’t work due to a disability.

Frequently asked questions

Disability insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts analyze disability insurance companies to help you find the best income protection policy for you.

We assess each company’s financial strength and customer satisfaction, as well as policy features, benefit and elimination periods and available riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects available options and industry reputation.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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