Since they first entered the market in 2018, Guardian has been renowned has having a feature packed and comprehensive product. As such it will be no surprise that they were one of the few insurers that achieved a gold for all of their products in our ratings. In this article we look at some of the key features they offer that contributed to such positive results.
The features we benchmarked within each product type and the scale of impact these had on the overall medal was decided by adviser use of our Quality Analyser system (http://www.qualityanalyser.com). For each benefit type we analysed the MI from this system to ascertain the most selected features and how these had been prioritized. Based on this we were able to select up to 10 features to benchmark insurer propositions against in each rating.
General features used within all benefits
Guardian scored strongly in all areas of claims process. They provide the claimant with a single point of contact throughout the claims journey and their claims handlers have been given compassionate training. A claim can be submitted via the phone with no need for an additional claim form to be completed once the details have been received and claimants are given full details of additional services that may support them throughout the claim.
Added Value Benefits
Guardian offer a wide range of added value benefits. These include counselling services, second medical opinions, access to GPs, rehabilitation services, nutritional support and Legal services. These services are not just available at point of claim but at any point in the term of the policy.
Key Critical Illness Features
Our independent panel of doctors’ analysis of adult conditions
It is perhaps no surprise to anyone that our doctors have scored Guardians critical illness definitions particularly highly. Guardian provide market leading definitions across a number of high incidence conditions with many of these only requiring a definite diagnosis of the condition for a claim to be paid. Across the top three highest incidence conditions our doctors scored Guardian 100% for their main cancer definition, 100% for their heart attack definition and 100% for their stroke definition.
Our independent panel of doctors’ analysis of children’s conditions
Guardians comprehensive definitions also translate to the children of the life assured and unlike other insurers up to £100,000 of children’s cover can be purchased. In the high incidence conditions for children they scored 100% for the main cancer definition, 25% for intensive care (the highest score achieved by any provider) and 100% for heart valve/replacement or repair.
Although the maximum percentage of the sum assured that will be paid for additional conditions is the industry standard 25%, Guardian cap this at £50,000, which is higher than most in the market. This means that at high sums assured, Guardian will pay more for the less severe conditions than most other insurers.
Key life protection features
Guardians terminal illness cover is unique in the market as not only does it pay the full sum assured at any point in the term of the contract if the client contracts an illness with a prognosis of less than 12 months to live, but it will also pay the full sum assured on diagnosis of a stage 4 cancer, Motor Neurone Disease, a Parkinson’s Plus Syndrome or Creutsfeldt-Jakob Disease. These are all conditions which are likely to have no cure and progress at a steady rate towards death as our doctors explain here. The addition of these conditions to their terminal illness definition gives clients taking out life only cover an element of critical illness cover which no other insurer currently provide.
Waiver of premium
Across the market, waiver of premium is a feature that can be added to plans at an additional cost and usually with only a six month deferred period. The Guardian plan includes waiver of premium as standard so any client taking a Guardian policy have this automatically on a one month deferred basis. Additionally, clients are also able to waive their premiums if they become involuntarily unemployed, have been made redundant or if they are on maternity or paternity leave.
Interest rate options
Where cover is taken out to protect a mortgage with decreasing cover, Guardian offer a Mortgage Guarantee which means that even if the outstanding loan is higher than the amount of cover at point of claim due to high interest rates, the full amount will be paid. This is dependent on the mortgage not being in arrears and the amount of cover originally being put in place matching the liability.
Since their launch, Guardian have provided comprehensive cover with unique features that have really cemented their place as one of the leaders in the comprehensive end of the market. We congratulate them for achieving an overall gold medal in all benefit types that they currently offer.