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Guardian life insurance review 2021

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 No info available

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.

This article was reviewed by Andrew Flueckiger, a member of the Finder Editorial Review Board and certified insurance counselor and licensed insurance agent in five states.

Best of 2021
Finder experts pick Guardian as a 2021 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. Overall, the company’s rates stay above average.


Factors that affect Guardian life insurance rates

Like most insurers, Guardian reserves its best rates for those in prime health, though it doesn’t tell how to get its preferred rates. Common rating factors:

  • 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. If you enjoy skydiving or mountain climbing, you may be considered high-risk.
  • Occupation. If you work a dangerous job like mining or firefighting, it could lead to higher rates than a desk job.
  • 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.

Guardian offers term and permanent life

Guardian offers a suite of life insurance policies, including universal life policies that some companies don’t offer.

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

Guardian offers a long list of riders

Guardian life insurance company offers a wide variety of add-ons to protect against events not covered by your standard policy, including:

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

Guardian life insurance reviews are mixed

Guardian Life Insurance has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1957, and earns a high rating which speaks to good customer interaction overall. However, BBB low star reviews cite billing issues and a lack of communication.

AM Best financial rating A++
BBB accredited Yes
BBB rating A+
1.24/5 out of 21 customer reviews
JD Power score 743
Customer reviews verified as of 30 June 2021

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.

How does Guardian compare to other companies?

Guardian offers a wide variety of life insurance, including both universal and variable universal policies. Coverage also goes as high as $5 million. You won’t find these options at every company. Guardian also sees overall positive reviews from customers without many complaints, though other companies rank higher in the J.D. Power life insurance study.

On the downside, the company is strict on who it approves to insure, so you might be denied if you’re considered too risky, such as for pre-existing health conditions.

Guardian’s rates also trend above the average. For example, it charges $35 for a $500,000, 20-year term life policy for a healthy, 30-year old man, according to our sample rates. Yet the same person typically pays $26 for this coverage level.

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 - 60 years old
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
Compare 40+ insurers and apply online to get the lowest possible price — no medical exam required.
Policygenius - Life Insurance
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare 12+ top insurers side-by-side to get the best possible deal, and shop return of premium policies online.
18 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Get a quote in less than 10 minutes with on-the-spot approval and no medical exam.
Everyday Life
20 - 75 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years.
Ladder multiple life insurance policies to save on the coverage you need for all your debts.
20 - 60 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
No, for coverage up to $3M
Apply for term life insurance online without the medical exam. Get an instant decision and adjust your coverage at no charge.

Compare up to 4 providers

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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