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Guardian/Berkshire Disability Insurance Review

Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is one of the nation’s largest mutual insurers. It also has one of the strongest disability insurance products on the market.

Basics

Founded1860
A.M. Best ratingA++
BBB ratingA+
Company info”The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) is a Fortune 250 global financial services company that is committed to being the trusted partner delivering financial security how, when and where clients prefer. Guardian is one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of employee benefits and offerings range from life insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, and investments to dental and vision insurance and employee benefits. The company has approximately 8,800 employees and a network of over 2,750 financial representatives in 58 agencies nationwide.”

Ratings

Evaluation4/5 stars. Guardian offers one of the strongest products on the market. In addition to great customer service and the highest financial strength ratings, their policies are priced competitively for high-income earners and medical markets.
Contract5/5
Application process2/5 - PDF or over the phone with an agent
Customer service5/5
Underwriting4/5 - Guardian has some of the most stringent underwriting for medical pre-existing conditions.

Base Policy Details*

Product nameProvider Choice (except in California)
Elimination period30 days, 60 days, 90 days, 180 days, 360 days, 720 days (subject to benefit period)
Benefit period2 year, 5 year, 10 year, Age 65, Age 67, Age 70
Definition of disabilityTrue Own Occupation
GuaranteeGuaranteed Renewable and Non-cancelable
Partial/residual disabilityAvailable via rider

Built-in Features*

Presumptive DisabilityPresumes total disability if you lose sight, hearing, speech, hands, or feet.
Waiver of PremiumNo premiums once claim is approved.
Hospice Care BenefitElimination period waived if on physician-ordered hospice care.
Unemployment Premium SuspensionBenefits and premiums can be temporarily suspended while on unemployment.
Occupational RehabilitationAn endorsement that will pay for occupation rehabilitation costs to help return to employment.
Automatic Benefit EnhancementFor the first six years, the benefit will automatically increase unless declined by the insured.

Additional Riders Available*

Basic or Enhanced PartialTwo options to cover partial disabilities if sickness or injury result in a loss of income.
Future Increase OptionAllows you to increase the coverage to your current income without medical underwriting.
Cost of Living AdjustmentIncreases the monthly benefit while on claim.
Catastrophic DisabilityAn additional monthly benefit is paid if you cannot perform two or more Activities of Daily Living.
Extended BenefitsAdditional benefit options increase the coverage or pay longer benefit periods.
Student Loan ProtectionPays an additional benefit, up to $2000 per month, to cover qualified student loans.
Retirement ProtectionAn additional benefit to replace contributions to eligible retirement plans.
Unemployment Waiver of PremiumAllows you to waive the premiums while on unemployment.
Social Insurance SubstitutePart of the monthly benefit could be reduced if you qualify for social security disability.

*Subject to availability based on individual applicant’s personal profile.

Last updated on Mar 19th 2018

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