Since our founding in 1860 – more than 160 years ago – Guardian has been dedicated to protecting futures and securing lives.
It all began at Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City, where a group of 21 prominent German American businessmen, led by civil rights lawyer Hugo Wesendonck, gathered to create the Germania Life Insurance Company of America. Our founders raised $200,000 in equity capital, which was twice the amount required by New York State law, showcasing that from the beginning, we’ve been committed to being financially strong for the long-term benefit of our policyholders.
Renamed “The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America” in 1918, we converted in 1925 from a mixed stock and mutual company into one that is wholly owned by our policyholders. We continued to grow our product portfolio over the years, expanding into the employee benefits market in 1957 and increasing our presence in the individual disability income insurance market with the merger of Berkshire Life Insurance Company in 2001.
Today, we are one of the largest mutual insurance companies in the United States with $11 billion in capital and $1.7 billion in operating income*. The Guardian community of 7,700 employees and our network of over 2,500 financial professionals is committed to serving with experience when, where, and how our clients need us.
History & Milestones
- 1860 - The Germania Life Insurance Company of America is created by Hugo Wesendonck.
- 1918 - The company changes its name to The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.
- 1925 - Guardian converts into a wholly owned mutual company, fully owned by its policyholders.
- 1957 - Guardian enters the employee benefits market.
- 2001 - Guardian completes a merger with Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, increasing its presence in the individual disability income insurance market.
- 2013 - Guardian acquires ReedGroup, a leader in absence management services.
- 2014 - Guardian purchases Premier Access Insurance Company, expanding into individual dental markets.
- 2016 - Guardian completes acquisition of Avēsis, a leading government contract vision, dental, and hearing provider.
- 2017 - Guardian sets up operations in India to provide IT and ITeS services, consulting and business solutions, and help fuel growth.
- 2018 - Guardian Direct launches, helping consumers find a new, digital way to research and buy dental, vision, accident, and critical illness insurance.
- 2020 - Guardian celebrates its 160th anniversary.