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Guardian life insurance review 2021

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Customize your term, whole or universal policy with more riders than other companies offer.'s rating: 4 / 5


Bottom line: Guardian offers at least seven different riders to choose from, but it doesn’t have high approval rates if you have preexisting medical conditions.

18 to 75

Issue Age

$250,000 to $5,000,000


Depends on policy

Medical Exam Required


Policies Term, Whole, and Universal life insurance
Coverage maximum $5,000,000
Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 30 years
Medical exam required Depends on policy
Available states All 50 states (not all the policies are available in all states)
Issue age 18 - 75 years old


  • Comprehensive support online or with an agent


  • No online quotes
  • Strict underwriting isn't ideal for people with poor health
  • Pushy marketing toward more expensive, unneeded policies
Riders Accelerated death benefit rider
Child rider
Disability income benefit rider
Guaranteed insurability rider
Long-term-care rider
Spouse rider
Waiver-of-premium rider

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by

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).

Expert review

Serving the industry since the 1860s, Guardian Life insurance caters to many with its variety of term and permanent policies. It provides a long list of helpful riders, such as for living benefits, long-term care or student loan repayments.

However, Guardian’s strict approval process may exclude you if you have pre-existing health issues. The company also ranks below average for customer satisfaction, although it gets fewer complaints than average.

The Guardian is a solid choice for many people in good health, especially if you’re exploring your options or want coverage flexibility.

Best of 2020
Finder experts pick Guardian as a 2020 best brand for life insurance.

Guardian life insurance rates

We pulled sample rates from Guardian Life’s website for a 20-year term, $500,000 policy for a healthy man and woman.


What affects my rate with Guardian?

Like most providers, Guardian reserves the best rates for those with excellent health. It doesn’t advertise the specifics of its preferred tier, but premium rates consider:

  • Age. As you get older, taking out a policy costs more than buying at a younger age.
  • Driving record. A history free of DUIs, suspensions or convictions will get rewarded with a lower rate.
  • Health history. Among factors that can increase rates are specific health conditions, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and a family medical history of serious illnesses or early death.
  • Hobbies. Thrill-seekers who enjoy skydiving and mountain climbing are considered risky applicants.
  • Occupation. If your job is dangerous — for example, you’re a miner, crane operator or firefighter — it could lead higher insurance rates than low-risk jobs.
  • Tobacco use. If you haven’t smoked in the past two years, you might see lower rates.

How to get a quote from Guardian life insurance

If you’re getting a term life insurance quote, you can start online and finish your application with a representative. For all other policies, call Guardian’s life insurance contact center at 1-888-482-7342.

For an online quote:

  1. Answer a few basic questions about your age, gender, tobacco use and income. Click Get a quote,
  2. View your quote and update with your preferred coverage levels.
  3. If you like what you see, enter your personal contact information in the form below your quote. Tap Submit.
  4. Speak with a representative about your life insurance policy, answering additional questions and finalizing details.

What types of life insurance coverage does Guardian offer?

Guardian offers your typical suite of life insurance products, including term and permanent policies.

  • Term life. This policy offers 10-, 15-, 20- or 30-year terms with premiums that won’t change. You also can upgrade to whole life insurance without a medical exam within a certain timeframe.
  • Universal life. This provides you with lifetime coverage and flexible payments. You also can borrow from the policy’s cash value with interest.
  • Variable universal life. This policy lets you invest its cash value in the market for extra cash growth, but your money is subject to market ups and downs.
  • Whole life. This policy offers lifelong coverage and your premium won’t change, though it’s pricier than other policies. Some of your premium is invested, letting you take out loans after building your policy’s cash value.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

Guardian life offers add-ons to customize protection against circumstances not covered by your standard policy. Depending on your policy and health, you could take advantage of these riders:

  • Accelerated death benefit. This rider lets you access a percentage of your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness.
  • Child. Purchase life insurance coverage for your children, without needing a separate policy.
  • Disability income benefit. Pays out an additional benefit if you suffer a covered disability.
  • Guaranteed insurability. This add-on lets you buy additional insurance at specific times throughout your policy’s term without needing a medical exam.
  • Long-term care. An add-on to whole life insurance, this rider lets you use your policy to pay medical expenses if you’re chronically ill.
  • Spouse. Purchase life insurance for your spouse without needing a separate policy.
  • Student loan benefit. Unique to Guardian policies, this rider covers student loan repayments if you become too ill or injured to work.
  • Waiver of premium. This benefit waives your premiums if you suffer a disability and can’t work.

Guardian life insurance reviews and complaints

Guardian Life Insurance has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 1957, earning an A+ rating as of October 2020, which speaks to good customer interaction.

Customer reviews tend to stay positive, praising the company for addressing and closing complaints quickly.

However, Guardian Life ranked 14 out of 23 insurers in J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Guardian scored 743 of 1,000 points for customer satisfaction, below the industry average of 763.

Guardian review: Ryan’s case study

profile pic

Ryan Brinks
Assistant Publisher

My Guardian life insurance started as a term policy to ensure my growing family would be covered if anything happened to me. But I intentionally set it up from the start with riders that have since allowed me to convert it to a whole life insurance policy that builds cash value and earns interest at a rate close to 6%.

What’s amazing is that I can borrow against that cash value at any time and I won’t interrupt the interest compounding because the policy loan comes from Guardian; think of it like a secured loan with my cash value as collateral. I’ve set up a similar policy for each of my kids, and they’ll be able to be their own bank when it comes time to pay for college or buy a home or start a business.

Compare life insurance companies like Guardian

See how Guardian Life fares against competitors’ coverage and features. Tap the Compare box to see up to four companies side by side.

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
18 - 100 years old
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
20 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Depends on policy
Term life insurance with no policy fees and a simple application process that can get you approved for coverage instantly.
21 - 60 years old
10, 15, or 20 years
Depends on policy
Get affordable term life insurance with accelerated underwriting or no-exam coverage up to $1,000,000. Available in all states except CA, NY and MT.
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
21 - 54 years old
10 or 20 years
Affordable 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies with instant quotes and no medical exams.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions about Guardian life insurance

Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry. Guardian receives four out of five stars for strong financial ratings and a large number of policy customization options.

Learn more about our methodology here.

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