Guardian stands strong:

  • As a mutual company, Guardian is guided by the needs of our policyholders who have trusted us through challenging times for 160 years. Through the pandemic of 1918, the Great Depression, recessions, and Superstorm Sandy, we are built for these types of situations, and we remain prepared.
  • Our well-diversified balance sheet, conservative business model, and prudent investment strategy reinforces our strength and stability in times of market turbulence and uncertainty.
  • Our success and our commitment to fulfill all our promises to policyholders is the guiding force behind our decision-making processes – it’s the bedrock of who we are as a mutual company. 


Today, we are stronger than ever:

  • Guardian has continually grown on a foundation of strength, with over $9 Billion in capital, while maintaining financial strength ratings that are among the top 1% of all insurers.Additionally, we were the only major life insurer upgraded during the financial crisis of 2008.
    • Independent rating agencies measure the qualifications of insurance companies and provide impartial evaluations of the insurer’s financial strength and ability to pay claims. The Comdex score is an unbiased number consisting of the four major rating agencies’ (Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, A.M. Best Company, and Moody’s) ratings. With respect to the Comdex score itself, industry experts consider 85 as “reasonably safe” and 95 or higher as “extremely safe.” As of December of 2019, Guardian has a Comdex score of 99. 1,2

  • Guardian is prepared for pandemic events.  We have stress tested our balance sheet against an event comparable to the 1918 Spanish Flu, and mortality losses in such an event would represent about $300 Million, or 3% of our capital. Additionally, in 2019 Guardian has paid out $960 Million in death claims, across 3,661 Individual Markets claims . 
    • We express our Capital (money or assets owned that are available to invest and grow the business, produce goods and services and maintain operations) strength through a Capitalization ratio. This ratio measures the financial strength of a company and is a key indicator of the company’s ability to remain strong during an economic downturn, or in this case, a pandemic. Insurance companies have reserves set aside to pay future claims. They also have liabilities (debt). Simply stated, the capitalization ratio is the percent of the company’s debt compared to its assets. Therefore, a higher capitalization ratio indicates greater financial strength and stability. As of 12/31/19, Guardian’s capitalization ratio ranks among the highest in the life insurance industry, with an average five-year capitalization ratio of 14.6 percent.
    • We have a strong surplus. Life insurance reserves represent the dollars a company sets aside to pay future benefits — both in terms of cash value and death claims. Surplus is simply the excess of an insurance company’s assets over its reserves and liabilities. Minimum reserve levels are set by the state of domicile for each insurance company. Guardian is domiciled in New York, which has one of the strictest (i.e., highest) reserve standards in the United States. Collectively, the reserves that Guardian holds exceed the cash values that underlie its whole life policies. Guardian also has a strong surplus position and understands the importance of growing its surplus each year to ensure funds are available to handle unforeseen events. As of 12/31/19, Guardian has a three-year cumulative surplus growth rate of 23.4% percent and total surplus of $7.6 billion.
  • We have close to $10 billion in total liquidity. Liquidity is the total amount of cash assets that can be turned into cash quickly and easily with a minimal impact to the value of the investment that the company holds. Guardian was cash-flow positive in the 2008 financial crisis, and we expect to be cash-flow positive in 2020.
  • Guardian has already set aside $982 Million to pay out in 2020 dividends. That is the single largest ever in our company history.
  • The average insured age across individual and group policies is about 45. Our exposure at ages 70 and older is in the low single digits.
  • We have an agile, remote work policy in place, and are prepared to keep operations running with little to no disruption.

We are built for this.


1 Guardian has a 99 Comdex, which in turn makes us in the top 1% of insurers based on indexed financial strength. Comdex is not a rating, but a composite of all ratings that a company has received from the four major ratings agencies (A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch). Comdex represents a company’s percentile standing, on a scale of 1 to 100 (with 100 being the best), in relation to other companies that have been rated by the major agencies.

2 Ratings are as of 12/31/19 and are subject to change. Ratings do not apply to the investments issued by GIAC or offered through Park Avenue Securities (PAS).

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