Guardian Life Insurance [REVIEW]

Who Are Guardian?

Guardian was officially founded in 1821. Over the past 200 years, it has offered various insurance and financial products.

Its mission is to provide families with clear, comprehensive insurance policies that pay out quickly.

Guardian was the 2022 Financial Times Adviser 5 Star Winner for Pension & Protection services. It also picked up the Excellence Award for its Outstanding Individual Life Insurance.

Guardians Life Insurance Policy Overview

Key Facts
  • £15 Million Maximum Benefit
    Guardian Life Insurance is a highly comprehensive policy however it only offers a maximum benefit of £15 million, whereas other providers offer an unlimited amount
  • Additional Critical Illness Cover
    You can choose to add Critical Illness Insurance for an extra premium. This pays out your full benefit on diagnosis of 53 conditions as standard
  • Dual Cover
    Guardians dual cover provides protection for couples that allows each party to have their own policy. This means if one claims, the other is still protected
  • 24/7 GP Services
    Policy holders get access to 24/7 GP consultations over the phone, so they can speak with a Dr anytime, anywhere
  • Second Medical Opinion|
    For free, Guardian offer UK based face-to-face second medical opinion for policy holders who want a second opinion on a diagnosis or treatment plan.

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What Does Guardian Life Insurance Cover?

Guardian’s award-winning Life Insurance has many features that make it unique and competitive. You can opt to take out Life Insurance on its own. Or, for an additional premium, you can take it out alongside Critical Illness Cover.

Guardian Life Insurance Coverage

Maximum Benefit

£15 million

Type of Cover

Minimum Entry Age


Maximum Entry Age


Survival Period

14 days

Terminal Illness Cover?

✅ Included as Standard

Also pays out for the following conditions even if life expectancy at diagnosis exceeds 12 months:

  • A stage 4 cancer
  • Motor neurone disease,
  • Parkinson-plus syndromes
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)

Joint Cover?

✅ Dual Cover:

  • Guardian packages two single policies for couples into one dual menu plan
  • If one person dies, a claim is paid on only their policy
  • The surviving partner will retain their cover.

Premium Type

  • Guaranteed
  • Annually escalating (increasing cover)

Waiver of Premium

✅ Included as Standard

Optional Critical Illness Cover

Maximum Benefit

£3 million

Conditions Covered

  • 53 in full as standard
  • Plus the lower of 25% of your benefit or £50,000 for 22 less serious illnesses. Claiming on this does not affect 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. This rises to the lower of 25% of your benefit or £50,000 for high risk incidences

Children’s Cover?

An optional add-on for an extra premium, covering children from birth to 23 years of age. It pays out:

  • A lump sum of your choosing between £10,000 and £100,000 (up to 100% of your benefit) if your child develops one of 59 conditions
  • 25% of the child’s benefit for 22 additional conditions
  • £10,000 if your child is stillborn after 24 weeks gestation, or dies before the age of 23.
We have taken care to ensure that information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However, we offer no guarantee as to its accuracy and accept no liability for any losses, whether direct or indirect, arising from errors on our part.

Guardian Life Insurance is unique in many ways.

For instance, traditional joint Life Insurance pays out when either person dies, leaving the other uninsured. But Guardian’s dual life cover packages two single policies into one menu plan.

Josh Martin
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Guardian Life Insurance Key Policy Factors

Guardian’s Life Insurance offers a range of different elements so you can tailor your cover to your needs. We’ve outlined its key policy factors below.

£15 Million Maximum Life Insurance Benefit

Where some providers offer unlimited Life Insurance, Guardian has a maximum benefit of £15 million. However, £15 million is a high enough limit that it will likely be sufficient for almost every individual.

Guaranteed Insurability

Guardian has a Guaranteed Insurability option included in its Life Insurance policy. This lets you increase your benefit without further underwriting following certain life events, such as:

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Taking out a new mortgage, or 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. Guardian also lets you extend the policy term if you increase the length of your mortgage, providing you don’t exceed the maximum age for cover.

Your benefit increase could be capped at a lower amount if you’re increasing it due to a new or existing mortgage. For instance, if your mortgage increase is lower than 25% of your original benefit or £50,000, this will be the increase limit.

Dual Life Insurance for Couples

Couples have two single Life Insurance policies under one plan, rather than a joint-life, first death arrangement. With the latter, the policy ceases on the first partner’s death, leaving the surviving partner uninsured.

Guardian’s Dual Cover gives each partner their own Life Insurance. If one person dies, their claim is paid out and the surviving partner keeps their own cover. Or, if both people died during the policy term, Guardian would pay two claims, one for each partner. This option also provides you with a premium discount.

Increasing Cover Available

Guardian gives you the option to take out your Life Insurance on an increasing basis. This helps to protect your benefit from decreasing in value over time as a result of inflation. It’s known as index-linked cover.

Each year, Guardian increases your benefit in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI) rate of inflation. Some insurers cap index-linked increases at 10% each year, but Guardian doesn’t do this. Although, increases of 10% or more may be subject to underwriting.

rauri taylor, independent protection expert at drewberry

Guardian will notify you of the increase before the policy anniversary If you don’t want to accept the increase, you’re free to decline.

However, if you decline the increase for 3 years in a row, Guardian will change your cover from increasing to level.

Rauri Taylor
Independent Protection Expert

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.

Your premiums will also increase each year, but by the rate of inflation multiplied by 1.5. For example, if inflation is 2% then your benefit will rise by 2% and your premiums by 3.5%. This is to account for your age and your remaining policy term.

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 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. This includes low-risk, non-melanoma skin cancer.

Total Permanent Disability Standard With Critical Illness Cover

Some providers require you to pay extra if you wish to include Total Permanent Disability cover as a Critical Illness. Guardian includes this as standard, with no need to pay an additional premium.

Guardian Life Insurance Additional Benefits

Guardian’s Life Insurance not only offers comprehensive cover, it comes with a range of free addtional benefits.

Guardian Anytime

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

  • Unlimited 24/7 Remote GP Service – offering unlimited phone or video appointments. There’s no fixed appointment length, either, so you won’t need to rush through your concerns
  • Second Medical Opinion Service – if you (or your child, if you’ve added child cover) develop a serious illness. This allows you to discuss the diagnosis and treatment options
  • Dedicated Nurse Support – after a serious illness diagnosis a dedicated nurse can help you understand test results and treatment procedures, to name a few.

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

With Guardian’s Life Insurance and Critical Illness cover, free Waiver of Premium is automatically included.

While all insurers offer this as an option, for most it’s an add-on for an extra premium. With Guardian’s Waiver of Premium, they step in to pay your premiums in the following scenarios:

  • You can’t do your job due to illness or injury and have been off work for at least 28 consecutive days. Your absence will also result in your regular net income falling by at least 25%
  • If you’ve involuntarily lost your job or been made redundant providing you were in employment on or after the first anniversary of your policy. 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. Guardian will also waive your premiums for up to 6 months in this case).

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.

Waiver of Premium cover also applies to 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 it, and it will have no impact on any claim you make.

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

How Does Guardian Compare?

When looking to take out Life Insurance it’s important to compare providers. We’ve highlighted some of the key features of Guardian’s cover to help you do this.

Dual Life Cover

Unlike most other providers, Guardian puts two single policies together under one 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 keeps their cover. If both die during the policy term, Guardian will pay out on each person’s life.

Broader Terminal Illness Coverage

Like most insurers, Guardian includes Terminal Illness Cover as standard. However, Guardian’s cover will also pay out if you’re also diagnosed with:

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

A claim is valid regardless of how long a doctor believes you will live after any of the above diagnoses.

Good Package Of Free Additional Benefits

The combination of Guardian HALO and Guardian Anytime make for a decent free additional benefits package. Guardian offers remote GP services, a second medical opinion, and bereavement counselling after the loss of a loved one.

All Cancers Are Covered

For Critical Illness claims, you must meet the exact definition of the condition laid out in the policy terms. If you don’t meet the severity required in that definition, you can’t claim.

As a result, many providers exclude certain low-grade, low-risk cancers. This means many forms of skin cancer are excluded. However, Guardian promises at least some of your benefit for all cancer diagnoses, regardless of severity.

Less Medical Evidence Required

Many insurers require full medical reporting before agreeing to pay out a claim. However, Guardian will pay out for certain conditions based on evidence from your consultant. This includes some cancer, heart attack and stroke diagnoses.

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 completely and totally disabled through illness or injury and can’t ever work again. For many insurers, this costs extra to add on.

Optional Child Cover Has Multiple Unique Features

If you do opt to add child cover to your adult Critical Illness Insurance, Guardian’s policy provides some very comprehensive cover. For instance, the number of conditions covered and the child death benefit are among the most generous on the market.

You also have the flexibility of choosing the sum your children are covered for. You can select any amount between £10,000 and £100,000, up to 100% of your benefit.

Nadeem Farid Head of Employee Benefits at Drewberry

Many other providers offer Child Critical Illness for free when you take out Critical Illness Cover for yourself. With Guardian, it’s an optional add-on for an extra premium.

If you don’t have children this means you won’t pay for a service you won’t use. However, if you do or plan to grow your family soon you will need to pay extra.

Nadeem Farid
Head of Health & Wellbeing Benefits

Improving Critical Illness Definitions

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

However, most providers only tend to offer these improved definitions for new applications. Existing policyholders stick with the definitions in place at the time they took out cover. Guardian, on the other hand, promises policy upgrades to all existing policyholders. As a result, more individuals get to benefit from improved Critical Illness definitions.

14 Day Survival Period

Every insurer has a survival period for Critical Illness claims. For many insurers, you can claim after surviving for 10 days following your critical diagnosis. But, Guardian has a 14 day survival period.

No Claims Statistics

Due to several acquisitions and rebrands, Guardian has only been offering Life and Critical Illness under its current brand since 2018. Since then, it has not yet published detailed claims statistics, such as the percentage of claims paid.

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.

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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’ve assumed that the individual looking for cover wants £250,000 of cover, and:

  • Needs a decreasing term
  • Wants the policy for 25 years
  • Is in a low-risk, office-based role
  • Has no pre-existing conditions
  • Is a non-smoker.

Life Insurance Only

Monthly Premiums

30 Years Old

40 Years Old

50 Years Old




All quotes were generated in January 2023 and calculated as a monthly premium.

Life Insurance With Critical Illness Cover

Monthly Premiums

30 Years Old

40 Years Old

50 Years Old




All quotes were generated in January 2023 and calculated as a monthly premium.

Get Guardian Life Insurance Quotes & Expert Advice

Guardian provides a very comprehensive Life Insurance policy, but there are many features to consider. It’s worth researching several insurers to find the best overall fit for your specific needs.

For further information, we’ve written a review of the best UK Life Insurance. This breaks down several providers and policies by the key factors you should consider when deciding on your cover.

Alternatively, if you’re confident in what you need you can use our online quote tool to compare life insurance quotes and apply online.

Here at Drewberry, we have a team of expert advisers who can save your precious time and answer any questions. Feel free to get in touch with us by emailing or call 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

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