Guardian Life Insurance Review

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Guardian Life Insurance Overview

Guardian Life Insurance Company is a mutual life insurance provider headquartered in New York City, New York. The company was founded in 1860 by Hugo Wesendonck, a civil rights lawyer from Germany and was originally known as The Germania Life Insurance Company of America. Currently, the company is led by president and chief executive officer Deanna Mulligan. Guardian employs approximately 5,400 workers and 3,000 financial representatives throughout its 80-plus agencies located across the country.

There are several subsidiary companies associated with Guardian Life; these are: The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company, Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, Park Avenue Securities LLC and RS Investment Management Co. LLC.

 
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Guardian Insurance Products

Guardian offers a variety of insurance products for employers, business, individuals and families. Specifically, Guardian provides: life insurance, including whole, universal, variable universal and term; disability insurance, including individual small business protection and supplemental; investments and retirement products, including annuities, IRAs, 401(k) funds, mutual funds and brokerage accounts; and employee benefits, including dental, disability, life, critical illness, vision, worksite and flex plan options.

Guardian is licensed to sell its products and services in all 50 U.S. states.

Guardian Consumer Complaints

Guardian Life Insurance Co. has been an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau since Jan. 14, 1957. On the BBB’s rating scale of A+ to F (A+ being the highest possible score), Guardian currently maintains an “A+” rating. In the last 36 months, there have been a total of nine customer complaints filed against Guardian with the Better Business Bureau; four of these complaints were logged within the last year. Of the nine total complaints, one stemmed from billing or collections issues, one involved issues with delivery and the remaining seven complaints were filed in regards to problems with Guardian’s products and/or services. There were no recorded issues with advertising, sales, guarantees or warranties with Guardian.

Guardian Consumer Research Reports

J,D, Power and Associates – Guardian was recognized in 2011 and 2012 by J.D. Power for having an outstanding call center for their Insurance and Annuity division. The Call Center Certified and Distinguished Program highlights businesses that focus on providing high customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power’s website.

Guardian Financial Rating

A.M. Best Rating – A++

Fitch Rating – AA

S & P Rating – AA+

Guardian Overall Rating

Positive
Guardian has relatively high financial ratings, which is very important for an insurance company that focuses on life and retirement products. Having strong financials ensures they can weather an economic downturn and still have the liquidity to pay out claims. Guardian also has a very low number of consumer complaints, with leads us to believe their customers seem happy with their services overall.

Negative
While going over their website, it is clear that they try and push clients towards expensive products like whole life insurance and away from affordable ones like term life insurance. Their sales copy on their life insurance pages weighs heavily in favor of the expensive products while downplaying the benefits of term. They even have a table that outlines the benefits of whole life over term, but neglects to show the benefits of term.

Recommendation
People in the insurance industry understand there is a lot more money to be made by selling expensive life insurance products over term insurance. In fact, companies and agents can often make upwards of 10 times the commission by putting someone in whole life vs. term. There are many scenarios where term would be the better choice, but companies and agents chase the dollars instead. It is disturbing that Guardian makes such a public attempt and steering people in one direction before even finding out their personal situation.

If you are planning on buying a life insurance policy from Guardian, make sure you understand what you are looking for. There is evidence that they may try and steer you towards a more expensive product. We see this far too often in the insurance business.

Guardian Contact Information

Website
www.GuardianLife.com
Phone Number
212-598-8000

Guardian Life Insurance Review2.625Eric Stauffer2013-02-12 05:00:24Products  |  Complaints  |  Financial Strength |  Overall

Guardian Life Insurance Overview
Guardian Life Insurance Company is a mutual …


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About the Author

Eric Stauffer

I am a former insurance agent turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.