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.

Tim Torres

By 

Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Reviews Editor

Tim Torres is a reviews editor at Policygenius, where he specializes in life insurance, homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and more. His work has also appeared in PC Mag, Tom's Guide, Tech Times, and elsewhere.

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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

  • Automatic benefit enhancement. For the first six years, the benefit will automatically increase unless declined by the insured.

  • Hospice care benefit. Elimination period waived if on physician-ordered hospice care.

  • Occupational rehabilitation. An endorsement that will pay for occupational rehabilitation costs to help return to employment.

  • Presumptive disability. Presumes total disability if you lose sight, hearing, speech, hands, or feet.

  • Unemployment premium suspension. Benefits and premiums can be temporarily suspended while on unemployment.

  • Waiver of premium. No premiums once claim is approved.

Available riders 

  • Basic or enhanced partial. Two options to cover partial disabilities if sickness or injury result in a loss of income.

  • Catastrophic disability. An additional monthly benefit is paid if you cannot perform two or more activities of daily living.

  • Cost of living adjustment. Increases the monthly benefit while on claim.

  • Extended benefits. Additional benefit options increase the coverage or pay longer benefit periods.

  • Future increase option. Allows you to increase the coverage to your current income without medical underwriting.

  • Retirement protection. An additional benefit to replace contributions to eligible retirement plans.

  • Social insurance substitute. Part of the monthly benefit could be reduced if you qualify for social security disability.

  • Student loan protection. Pays an additional benefit, up to $2,000 per month, to cover qualified student loans.

  • Unemployment waiver of premium. Allows you to waive the premiums while on unemployment.

Available riders may vary by state and individual application.

Ratings

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. However, you must apply over the phone with an agent. 

  • Evaluation: 4 / 5 

  • Contract: 5 / 5

  • Application process: 2 / 5

  • Customer service: 5 / 5

  • Underwriting: 4 / 5

Company Info

  • Founded: 1860

  • A.M. Best rating: A++

  • BBB rating: A+