Pros / It offers whole and universal permanent life insurance.
Cons / The company’s term policies are more expensive than average.
Verdict / Guardian’s rates are slightly above average, but it offers other financial planning and investment services.
Guardian Life has a long history as a life insurer and financial advisor. It has an A++ rating from A.M. Best, an organization that rates insurance companies’ financial stability, which shows it has the ability to pay out claims in the long term. This is a higher rating than even AIG.
When you purchase life insurance, you buy either a term or a permanent policy. A term policy is the most common and least expensive option. It covers you for a set period of time and pays your beneficiaries an agreed upon amount if you pass away during that term.
Permanent policies are much more expensive, sometimes costing up to 10 times more than term policies. However, they don’t expire and have a savings or investment element that earns interest as time passes. So, if you pass away, your policy will pay out the agreed upon value, but there is also a reserve of money you can access.
Each policy is unique, and premiums are based on a variety of factors including your age, health, income, debt and what you want to leave to your beneficiaries. To get an idea of how these factors influence costs, we got separate quotes for a 45-year-old man who smokes and is in good health and a 33-year-old woman who doesn’t smoke and is in excellent health. To keep things relatively standard, we kept both individuals’ income and debt the same.
Guardian’s premiums were more expensive than average. Our 45-year-old man received a quote of $158 a month for a $250,000 policy with a 20-year term – $14 more than the average of the companies we reviewed. The 33-year-old woman was quoted $22 per month for the same coverage, compared to our test group’s $20 average.
The company’s permanent policies deviated even further from the average. Our male subject got a quote of $570 per month, which is significantly more than the average of $488. The female’s quote was $233 per month – nearly $50 more than the average.
If you opt for a permanent policy, you can choose between whole or universal life insurance. Whole policies aren’t as flexible as universal policies. For example, you can change your premium and increase the death benefit when you have a universal policy but not with a whole policy. You can even access the money you’ve saved earlier with a universal life policy.