Guardian disability insurance review 2021
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.
Short term disability
Long term disability
|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 to $20,000|
|Individual credit||Student loan payments|
|Available states||All 50 states (not all the policies are available in all states)|
No info available
Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).
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
- 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.
- 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, as of October 2020. It’s a different story with customers, however, who give Guardian just 1.2 of five stars. This rating reflects the company as a whole, though, and not just its disability insurance department.
The BBB records 83 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.
|AM Best||A++ (Superior)|
|Standard & Poor’s||AA+ (Very Strong)|
|Fitch||AA+ (Very Strong)|
|J.D. Power||3 out of 5 circles|
Compare alternatives to Guardian
How do I sign up for Guardian disability insurance?
Sign up for disability insurance through Guardian’s website:
- On Guardian’s homepage, hover over Insurance & Investments. Click Disability Income Insurance.
- Scroll to the green bar, and tap Get a Quote.
- Enter your gender, age, state and income. From the drop-down box, choose your occupation and a subcategory.
- 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.
- 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.