Guardian Life Insurance [REVIEW]

Who Are Guardian?

Guardian was officially founded in 1821. Over the course of the past 200 years, it has offered various insurance and financial service products including Life Insurance, pensions and annuities.

UK financial services giant ReAssure acquired Guardian in 2016, renaming it ReAssure Life Limited in June of that year.

ReAssure subsequently sold the Guardian brand to Gryphon Group Holdings, which launched Guardian as a new protection insurance provider in 2018.

Guardian Life Insurance is unique in many ways.

For example, instead of traditional joint Life Insurance paying out when the first partner dies, leaving the surviving partner uninsured, Guardian’s dual life cover packages two single policies into one menu plan.

Josh Martin
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Guardian Life Insurance

Policy Overview

  • Guardian Life Insurance is a highly comprehensive policy with a number of features that make it stand out from its peers.
  • Opt to add Critical Illness Insurance for an extra premium. This pays out your full benefit on diagnosis of 54 conditions as standard.
  • Comes with access to remote GP appointments.

Documentation

Aegon Life Insurance - Key Facts

Aegon Life Insurance - Policy Terms

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What Does Guardian Life Insurance Cover?

Guardian Life Insurance Coverage

Maximum Benefit

  • Life Insurance: £15 million
  • Life and Critical Illness Cover: £3 million

Type of Cover

Minimum Entry Age

18

Maximum Entry Age

65

Terminal Illness Cover?

Enhanced
Pays out not just for a terminal diagnosis but also if you develop stage 4 cancer, motor neurone disease, Parkinson-plus syndrome or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), even if life expectancy at diagnosis exceeds 12 months

Joint Cover?

Dual cover
Instead of covering two people with one joint policy, Guardian packages two single policies for couples into one dual menu plan

Premium Type

  • Guaranteed
  • Annually escalating (increasing cover)

Waiver of Premium

Free and automatic

Optional Critical Illness Cover

Conditions Covered

  • 54 in full as standard
  • Plus the lower of 25% of your benefit or £50,000 for 21 less serious illnesses without affecting your entitlement to claim in full for the 54 main conditions
  • Plus the lower of 10% of your benefit or £50,000 for low risk non-melanoma skin cancer, rising to the lower of 25% of your benefit or £50,000 for high risk incidences

Survival Period

14 days

Children’s Cover?

An optional add-on for an extra premium (💷) covering children from birth to age 23, paying:

  • A lump sum of your choosing between £10,000 and £100,000 (up to 100% of your benefit) if your child develops any adult condition Guardian covers (except TPD), plus six child-specific ones
  • 25% of the child’s benefit for 22 additional conditions
  • £10,000 towards your child’s funeral if they pass away or are stillborn after the 24th week of pregnancy
We have taken care to ensure that the information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However we can give no guarantee as to the accuracy of the content of the site. We accept no liability for any losses whether direct or indirect arising from errors on our part.

Key Policy Factors

£15 Million Maximum Life Insurance Benefit

Guardian has a £15 million maximum Life Insurance benefit. While there are insurers which offer an unlimited maximum benefit, the reality is that £15 million will be more than sufficient for almost every Life Insurance client.

Guaranteed Insurability

Guardian lets you increase your benefit without further medical evidence following certain life events. These events are:

  • Birth / adoption of a child
  • Marriage / civil partnership
  • Taking out a new mortgage / increasing current mortgage
  • Getting a pay rise of 20% or more.

The maximum increase is the lower of 25% of your benefit or £50,000, except for taking out a new mortgage / increasing your current mortgage and lengthening your mortgage term.

For a new / increased mortgage, the maximum increase is the lower of 25% of your original benefit or £50,000, capped at the total increase in your mortgage.

Guardian also lets you extend the policy term if you increase the length of your mortgage. This is subject to the policy not exceeding the maximum age for coverage.

Dual Life Insurance for Couples

Couples benefit from two single Life Insurance policies packaged together in a single menu plan with a premium discount rather than joint cover.

This ensures each partner has their own cover. If both partners died during the policy term, Guardian would therefore pay out twice, once for each partner.

This is opposed to the standard joint life, first death cover many other insurers offer. Here, the policy ceases on the first partner’s death, leaving the surviving partner without cover.

Increasing Cover Available

To prevent inflation eroding the purchasing power of your benefit over time, Guardian lets you choose to index-link your benefit. This is known as increasing cover.

Each year, Guardian will increase your benefit in line with Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation. To compensate for this, your premiums will rise by inflation multiplied by 1.5. For example, if inflation is 2% then your benefit will rise by 2% and your premiums by 3.5%.

Guardian will write to you as you approach the policy anniversary asking if you want to take up the benefit increase. You are free to decline. However, if you decline 3 years in a row, Guardian will change your cover from index-linked to Level Term Insurance.

Unlike other insurers, which cap index-linked cover at 10% each year, Guardian doesn’t do this. However, increase of 10% or more may be subject to underwriting.

The maximum amount of Life Insurance you can reach after index-linked benefit increases is £20 million. With Life and Critical Illness Insurance, it is £3 million.

Good Package of Free Additional Benefits

Guardian Anytime and Guardian HALO combine to make up a good package of free additional benefits. This includes access to a 24 / 7 remote GP service, which only a handful of other Life Insurance providers offer.

Critical Illness Cover for All Cancers

Guardian pays at least some of your benefit for any diagnosis of cancer, regardless of severity, including low-risk non-melanoma skin cancer.

Total Permanent Disability Standard With Critical Illness Cover

Guardian pays at least some of your benefit for any diagnosis of cancer, regardless of severity, including low-risk non-melanoma skin cancer.

Additional Benefits

Guardian Anytime

Guardian Anytime offers a comprehensive package of free additional benefits. For example it provides:

  • A 24 / 7 remote GP service, over the phone or via video call, offering unlimited appointments and no caps on appointment lengths
  • A second medical opinion service if you (or your child, if you’ve added child cover) develop a serious illness to discuss the diagnosis and treatment options
  • Dedicated support from a nurse adviser after a serious illness diagnosis, including help understanding rest results etc.

Guardian HALO

Guardian HALO is Guardian’s expert claims management service. It offers help and advice in a variety of areas relating to a claim, for example:

  • A face-to-face second medical opinion
  • Return-to-work support
  • Finding a solicitor to handle probate
  • Bereavement counselling
  • Nursing support following diagnosis and treatment
  • Estate planning following a terminal illness diagnosis
  • Counselling to help families cope with serious illness
  • Therapies to ease the consequences of treatments
  • Help to draw up a power of attorney
  • Speech therapy.

Free Waiver of Premium Cover

Guardian includes waiver of premium cover free automatically with both Life Insurance and Critical Illness Cover.

While all insurers offer this as an option, for most it’s an add-on for an extra premium.

Waiver of premium means Guardian will step in to pay your premiums in the following scenarios:

  • You can’t do your job due to illness / injury and have been off work for at least 28 consecutive days, resulting in your regular net income falling by at least 25% as a result
  • You’re in employment on or after the first anniversary of your policy and you’re then not working due to involuntarily losing your job or redundancy (in this case Guardian will waive premiums for up to 6 months)
  • After the first anniversary of your policy you’re on maternity or paternity leave (in this case Guardian will waive premiums for up to 6 months).

If you can’t do your job due to illness or injury, Guardian will waive premiums until you’re either well enough to return to work, you reach retirement or your policy expires.

Guardian will not backdate waiver of premium or refund premiums, so it’s important to let them know as soon as you think you’ll be making a waiver of premium claim.

Waiver of premium will also cover Children’s Critical Illness Cover if you’ve added this to your plan. There’s no limit on the number of times you can use waiver of premium and using it will have no impact on any claim you make.

How Does Guardian Compare?

Dual Life Cover

Guardian does not offer joint Life Insurance. Instead, it packages together two single policies for couples needing joint cover into a single under a menu plan with a premium discount.

This means the policy covers both lives separately. If one partner passes away or becomes critically ill, the other partner therefore retains their coverage.

This is in contrast to most other insurers which offer joint life, first death cover. Here, if one partner dies or becomes critically ill, the policy pays out and then ends. The surviving partner is then left without cover.

Broader Terminal Illness Coverage

As with all insurers, Guardian Life Insurance includes Terminal Illness Cover as standard. This pays out your Life Insurance benefit early if a doctor diagnoses you with less than 12 months to live.

However, unique to Guardian, the Terminal Illness Cover kicks in to pay out if you are diagnosed with:

  • Stage 4 cancer
  • Motor neurone disease
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)
  • Parkinson’s-plus syndrome.

It will pay out regardless of how long a doctor believes you will live after the diagnosis.

Good Package of Free Additional Benefits

The combination of Guardian HALO and Guardian Anytime make for a decent free additional benefits package.

Guardian offers access to remote GP services, a second medical opinion service, legal assistance such as estate planning and bereavement counselling after the loss of a loved one.

Optional Critical Illness Cover Pays Out for All Cancers

With Critical Illness Insurance, you must meet the definition of the condition in question the insurer lays out in its policy terms. If you don’t meet the severity required in that definition, you can’t usually make a claim.

As a result, many policies exclude certain low-grade, low-risk cancers, particularly some skin cancers. However, Guardian promises at least some of your benefit for all cancer diagnoses, regardless of severity.

For example, Guardian pays the lower of 10% of your benefit or £50,000 for low-risk, non-melanoma skin cancer. This rises to the lower of 25% of your benefit or £50,000 for high-risk non-melanoma skin cancer.

Less Medical Evidence for Certain Critical Illness Claims

Guardian requires less medical evidence for certain Critical Illness Insurance claims. For example, it will pay out for many cancer, heart attack and stroke diagnoses based on evidence from your consultant rather than requiring full medical reporting.

Total Permanent Disability Cover As Standard

Guardian includes Total Permanent Disability Cover as standard with its Critical Illness Insurance. This pays out if you become so completely and totally disabled through illness or injury that you can’t ever work again.

For many insurers, this is an optional extra for an additional premium.

Child Critical Illness Cover Not Standard

Child Critical Illness Cover is an optional add-on for an extra premium. It’s not included free as standard with adult cover.

While this does mean you don’t pay for a service you won’t use if you don’t have children, many other providers offer it free. If you have children or plan to start a family, it’s worth noting.

Optional Child Cover Has Multiple Unique Features

However, if you do opt to add child cover to your adult Critical Illness Insurance for an extra premium, Guardian’s policy has a number of unique features. These make it stand out among its peers. For example:

  • Choose the payout you get if your child falls ill, from £10,000 to £100,000 (capped at 100% of your benefit). Meanwhile, most insurers simply pay 25% of your benefit.
  • Child cover pays out the full child benefit for all adult conditions Guardian covers (except Total Permanent Disability) and six child specific illnesses. This therefore covers a high number of illnesses.
  • It also pays 25% of the chosen benefit for 22 more conditions. Overall, this makes Guardian’s child cover one of the most comprehensive in the market.
  • The death benefit of £10,000, including for babies stillborn after 24 weeks gestation, is one of the most generous on the market.
  • Guardian automatically covers children from birth to age 23, regardless of education status. This is the longest period of coverage in the market.

Benefit From Improving Critical Illness Definitions

Critical Illness Insurance definitions naturally change and evolve over time. This happens with all insurers and is usually in response to factors such as changes in medical science.

However, if definitions improve, Critical Illness Insurance providers only tend to offer these improved definitions to new clients. Existing policyholders stick with the definitions in force at the time they took out cover.

Guardian, on the other hand, promises to offer policy upgrades to all existing policyholders as it makes improvements to their critical illness definitions. More clients therefore get to benefit from them.

14 Day Survival Period

With Critical Illness Insurance, every insurer has a survival period. This is the length of time you must survive after your diagnosis for the insurer to pay your Critical Illness Insurance claim.

With Guardian, this survival period is 14 days. There are insurers which allow you to claim providing you survive 10 days.

No Claims Statistics

As Guardian has only been offering Life and Critical Illness Insurance under its current brand since 2018, it’s yet to publish detailed claims statistics, for example the percentage of successful claims.

While it’s likely these will come with time, it does make Guardian slightly less transparent on this front than the rest of the providers in the market.

How Much Does Guardian Life Insurance Cost?

As with any insurance policy your budget can often dictate the policy you choose to take out. To help with this we’ve provided example costs for Guardian Life Insurance based on varying ages, with and without Critical Illness cover below.

To calculate these quotes we have assumed that the individual looking for cover wants £250,000 Life and Critical Illness cover:

  • Needs a decreasing term
  • Is in a low risk office based role
  • Has no pre-existing conditions
  • Is a non-smoker

30 Years Old

40 Years Old

50 Years Old

Life Cover Only

£7.19

£12.53

£23.16

 Life & Critical Illness Cover

£55.93

£101.10

£182.92

All quotes were generated in June 2021 and calculated as a monthly premium.

Get Guardian Life Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

Guardian provide a very comprehensive Life Insurance policy but there are many other insurers you should consider when doing your research.

For further information we have written a review of the top UK Life Insurance providers breaking down their policies by the key factors you should be considering when deciding on your cover.

If you are confident in what you need you can compare life insurance quotes and apply online for cover using our calculator.

If it has all become too confusing we have a team of expert advisers who can help answer your questions, just pop us a call on 02084327333.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

For help and fee-free Life Insurance advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Pop us a call on 02084327333 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

Very helpful from start to finish. Talked through all the points and gave great advice.

Darren Comer
16/05/2021
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