What is a whole life insurance policy?

The most robust type of permanent insurance, a whole life policy is ideal if you want to stay covered for life to protect your loved ones, while accumulating cash value. Your cash value is the portion of money you can use during your life to pay for certain expenses, like dealing with the unexpected, paying for education, or funding a more secure retirement.

Why you should have whole life insurance:

  • Lifelong guaranteed life insurance.

    -  You’ll be assured of a guaranteed premium amount that you have to pay that can’t be increased.
    -  Your loved ones/beneficiaries would receive a guaranteed, lump-sum payment if you weren’t around to take care of them.
    -  Your business could also be a beneficiary.

  • Cash value accumulation. 

    -  While staying covered for life, you can also build a significant cash asset that’s not dependent on the rise or fall of the market at any time.
    -  You can borrow against the cash value portion of your whole life policy. If you need money for other things in the future: a down payment for a home, college funding, or a business loan. 

  • Potential dividend payments. 

    -  Guardian is a mutual life insurance company, and this means that you may receive an amount of money based on our profits called a dividend. While not guaranteed, the payments have historically been made every year since 1868.

  • Tax benefits. 

    -  Tax-advantaged buildup of cash value. This means that you defer paying tax on the dividends you’re accumulating. 

  • Tax-sensible asset for loans. 

    -  If you need to borrow against your cash value - for an emergency or any other purpose - the loan may not count as income for taxation, as long as your policy remains active.

  • Learn more through videos. 

    -  Whole Life Insurance could benefit you during your lifetime and provide a legacy for your loved ones. Discover it’s many benefits by viewing our video series.

Optional enhancements to improve your life

While a whole life insurance policy is a comprehensive product, a series of optional features are available to extend the protection even further. Called riders, these are simply additions to your contract, usually at an extra cost. Some examples include our riders that cover various aspects of care for chronic or terminal illness or disability. 

Mutuality makes a difference

Learn how a whole life insurance policy from a mutual company, which is owned by policyholders, is different than a policy from a stock company. The kind of company you choose to do business with can make a big difference.

Watch the video

Guardian index participation feature (IPF)

Discover the current rates for Guardian’s Index Participation Feature (IPF) – a rider that allows select Whole Life policyholders to link a portion of their paid-up-additions cash value to the performance of an index. Learn more


The Living Balance Sheet® (LBS) and the LBS Logo are registered service marks of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. © Copyright 2005-2018 The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

All whole life insurance policy guarantees are subject to the timely payment of all required premiums and the claims paying ability of the issuing insurance company. Policy loans and withdrawals affect the guarantees by reducing the policy’s death benefit and cash values.

Some whole life policies don’t have any cash values in years one or two. Whole life insurance should be considered for its long term value. Early cash value accumulation and early payment of dividends depend upon policy type and/or policy design, and cash value accumulation is offset by insurance and company expenses. Consult with your Guardian representative and refer to your whole life insurance illustration for more information about your particular life insurance policy.

Riders may incur an additional cost or premium. Riders may not be available in all states.

Policy benefits are reduced by any outstanding loans and loan interest.

Dividends, if any, are affected by policy loans and loan interest. If the policy lapses, or is surrendered, any loans considered gain in the policy may be subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy is a Modified Endowment Contract (MEC), loans are treated like withdrawals, but as gain first, subject to ordinary income taxes. If the policy owner is under 59 ½, any taxable distribution from the policy may also be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty.

Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents or employees do not give tax or legal advice. You should consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your individual situation.

Dividends are not guaranteed.  They are declared annually by Guardian’s Board of Directors.

This material is intended for general public use. By providing this material, Guardian is not undertaking to provide investment advice for any specific individual or situation, or to otherwise act in a fiduciary capacity. Please contact a financial professional for guidance and information specific to your individual situation.