The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) has an interesting history. It was founded by Hugo Wesendonck, a German civil rights lawyer who participated in the 1848-1849 revolt and helped write the German constitution. He ultimately was forced to flee Germany and settled in Manhattan in 1860 and established the Germania Life Insurance Company to offer insurance to other German immigrants.
In 2001, Guardian merged with Berkshire Life and increased its share of the disability insurance market. It offers a large range of employer-offered insurance products, including life, health, dental, and disability insurance which are governed by ERISA.
Guardian is a huge player in the individual disability insurance market and is a leader in offering graded premiums so the policyholder can purchase the level of insurance that suits their financial needs. It offers its own occupation policies for professionals which is a rare offering these days. It also offers residual benefits coverage so that if you have suffered a loss of 15% of your pre-disability earnings, the policyholder can be paid a percentage of the difference. I think that Guardian and Northwestern Mutual offer the best policies for professionals.
However, Guardian’s track record for claims handling is a different matter.