Updated March 7th, 2019

Guardian Whole Life Insurance Review

In the article, you will find our Guardian Whole Life Insurance Review, but let’s start by looking at Guardian, the company.

Based in New York City, the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is known for being one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the world. Not only does the company have more than 8,000 employees, but it also has approximately 3,000 financial representatives at more than 70 agencies throughout the United States.

Since being founded in 1860, the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has provided millions upon millions of people with the life insurance coverage they need. In 2015, the company generated its highest-earning year ever, with $7.3 billion in the capital.

While the company focuses primarily on its life insurance products, it doesn’t stop there. Other products include disability income insurance, investments, annuities, vision, dental, and retirement plans. 

In this review, we will cover the following topics:

    1. The Good
    2. The Bad
    3. Financials
    4. Ratings
    5. Products
    6. Riders
    7. Dividend Rate

So let’s get started.

The Good

When you decide to shop for life insurance through Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, you will soon realize that there are many products to consider. When it comes to whole life insurance, this company is historically among the best.

Many Options

In addition to many options, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America explains why its whole life policies are the cream of the crop:

  • Permanent guaranteed life insurance.
  • Cash value accumulation.
  • Dividend payments.
  • Tax benefits.
  • Tax-sensible asset for loans.

By receiving quotes for many types of whole life insurance, you will soon find that Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has something that suits your lifestyle, financial situation, and personal needs.

Top Rated

Some life insurance companies are rated higher than others. However, with Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, you are doing business with a company that has a long-standing reputation for top of the line service.

Here is a shortlist of some of its ratings:

  • M. Best Rating: A++
  • Standard & Poor’s Rating: AA+
  • Moody’s Rating: Aa2

As you can see, these ratings are at the top end of the scale.


As noted above, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is a mutual life insurance company. Some consumers don’t know what this means, but it’s an important feature to consider when buying a policy.

With whole life insurance from a mutual company, one that is owned by policyholders, you have more security. Along with this, you are in a position to receive dividends on your policy, which allows you to earn money over the long run. 

Check out: Guardian’s 2019 Dividend  Announcement. 

The Bad

Dividend Rate

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is growing by leaps and bounds, which has helped its dividend rate hold relatively steady over the years.

Here is the history of the dividend since 2002: 

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
8 7 6.6 6.7 6.5 6.75
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
7.25 7.3 7 6.85 6.95 6.65
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
6.25 6.05 6.05 5.85 5.85 5.85

The dividend has been decreasing slowly since 2002. Whole Life performance is linked strongly to dividend performance. It is not a good sign to see the dividend dropping constantly.

However, if history is any indication, things will turn around in the years to come. 

Agent Network

The only potential downside of working with the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is a small agent network than their immediate competitors (MassMutual 7,000, New York Life 12,000).

The agent count isn’t a huge downside, but we still wanted to compare it to the competition.

Even though there are roughly 3,000 financial representatives in 70 offices nationwide, you may not be able to find somebody close to your home.

Fortunately, you don’t have to meet with an agent in person to make a purchase. But if you are the type who wants this security, however, you will need to see if there is an office in your local area. 


Here are some of the financial highlights for Guardian Life:

Also, Guardian Life is among the largest companies in the United States. Its life ranked #239 on the Fortune 500 list


Ratings are established by third-party companies to determine how strong a company is. Guardian Life has impressive ratings, and they have had for many years:

  • A.M. Best Rating: A++ (Highest of 15 ratings)
  • Standard & Poor’s Rating: AA+ (2nd highest of 22 ratings)
  • Moody’s Rating: Aa2 (3rd highest of 21 ratings)
  • Comdex: 98

As you can see, this makes Guardian one of the strongest rated companies. 


All of Guardian’s whole life insurance products have the same basic features that any mutual whole life has:

  • Death Benefit that is guaranteed
  • Guaranteed Cash Value
  • Premiums that never increase in price
  • Dividends to help growth cash and death benefit

Guardian’s whole life represents over 88% of their income, so they are committed to a good product.

These are the primary reasons to consider whole life insurance. Looking more in-depth, the two main whole life products are:

Level Premium Whole Life

This product can be designed to have premiums until age 120, 99, or 95. This whole life is better if you are looking to get a higher death benefit. Do you want maximum death benefit? Then make sure to pay premiums until age 120.

Limited Payment Whole Life

This type of whole life can be designed to be paid-up in a short period. Let’s say you would like to pay for your whole life for only 20 years; then this is the product that you could choose:

  • 10 Pay
  • 20 Pay

Related: Limited Pay Whole Life Insurance

EstateGuard® Whole Life

EstateGuard is a second to die whole life policy. EstateGuard insures two people, and it pays when the second person dies. A second to die policy is a great strategy when you want to leave a legacy, or for estate planning. 


Riders are features that you can add to a life insurance policy. Guardian not only has the regular riders:

  • Waiver of Premium
  • Guaranteed Insurability Option
  • Paid-Up Additions Rider
  • Renewable Term Rider
  • Accidental Death Benefit

But Guardian also has some new riders that you should check out.

Interesting Riders

Guardian offers some attractive life insurance riders for your policy:

Index Participation Features: This allows you to allocate the cash value of the policy’s paid-up additions to the performance of the S&P 500. It does have a cap and a floor, but this rider can turn a whole life into an IUL.

Discover DuoGuard: This is an exciting rider that guarantees a beneficiary the right to purchase a new life insurance policy when the original insured dies.

Disability Waiver of Premiums Benefit: If you become totally disabled for six months, you will not have to pay premiums on the policy, but you keep the policy in force.

Simplified Insurability Option: It allows you to get more coverage with simplified underwriting.

Enhanced Accelerated Benefits Rider: Allows you to accelerate benefits if you are terminally ill or have certain chronic illnesses.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider: You will have the ability to buy more whole life insurance without having to do another medical. This rider can be great if you get whole life insurance on kids.

Not all these riders are essential, but we still wanted you to be aware of your options. 

Dividend Rate

As we already mentioned, Guardian’s dividend hasn’t been that strong over the past few years. Here is a table that will show how the dividend has decreased: 

2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
8 7 6.6 6.7 6.5 6.75
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
7.25 7.3 7 6.85 6.95 6.65
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
6.25 6.05 6.05 5.85 5.85 5.85

This decrease is similar to what other companies have experienced. If you want to see a full comparison of dividends, then check out our analysis: Whole Life Dividends

Final Word

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has a lot going for it, including a long history, strong dividend payments, and a variety of whole life insurance products.

The current dividend and cash value performance are lower than some of the top whole life’s in the industry, so this makes their whole life underperform.

Check out other great reviews: Prudential Whole Life Review Gerber Whole Life Review , Foresters Whole Life Review , AIG Whole Life Review

When compared to the competition, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America used to be among the top five whole life insurance companies. However, there are better options for you.

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