How Guardian excelled in our 2022 product ratings
Last week Protection Guru launched our 2022 product ratings. These ratings, which are based on the product features most selected by advisers across our research tools (e.g. SolutionBuilder Product Features Report) over the last 12 months, are designed to highlight product excellence and the quality of each insurers proposition.
Across each of the benefit types, insurers score an overall gold, silver or bronze medal for their products, as well as medals for the underlying features and benefits that make up the ratings. Only the most comprehensive plans achieved a gold medal and over the next week we will highlight some of the providers that achieved excellence across a range of products and highlight why. Today we focus on Guardian.
To anyone that is familiar with the Guardian proposition, the fact that they scored gold in every category of our ratings where they offer a product will come as no surprise. Having re-entered the protection market in 2018 with a clear aim to challenge the norm and shake up the industry, Guardian recently celebrated their brands 200th birthday and continue to innovate and offer market leading products.
Critical Illness Cover
Our critical illness ratings are based on our independent panel of expert doctors assessment of the policy definition wordings and the likelihood of a claim being paid. Our doctors have rated the Guardian policy as one of the most comprehensive on the market, achieving the highest possible score for their cancer, heart attack, stroke and MS definitions and scoring highly in other areas as well.
There are numerous conditions where only a definite diagnosis is required to claim, which simplifies the wording and better helps the client understand the scope of their cover, as our doctors explain:
“Having reviewed the critical illness wordings written by Guardian, they have clearly made a significant effort to keep them simple and clear to avoid any unnecessary ambiguity.”
– Protection Guru’s Expert Panel of Doctors
Our critical illness benchmarking not only analyses the definition wordings, but also the amount paid for those conditions, factoring in any additional payments. Alongside all of the full payment conditions included, Guardian will also pay 25% of the sum-assured up to £50,000 for additional payment definitions. The maximum monetary cap of £50,000 is one of the highest on the market.
Children’s Critical Illness Cover
In terms of children’s cover, Guardian are particularly strong. Unlike traditional children’s critical illness cover, which is either included automatically or offered as an optional extra alongside adult cover, Guardian offer completely separate children’s cover without the need for adult critical illness cover. This means client’s could purchase an adult life-only policy with Guardian and include children’s cover, up to a maximum sum-assured of £100,000. Funeral cover of £10,000 is also included and the policy covers children up to the age of 23, regardless of whether they are in full-time education.
(Click the medal to view the dedicated fact-sheets)
Whilst there may be a temptation to think all life policies are identical, with not a lot do differentiate them, Guardian’s life cover includes some genuinely interesting and innovative features.
Their terminal illness benefit leads the market and whilst all insurers will pay out if the client is given a prognosis of less than 12 months to live, Guardian extend this further. They will also provide a full payment if the client is diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson Plus Syndrome or Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. As one of our claims infographics highlights, this is also a benefit Guardian have paid claims for.
All Guardian policies also include waiver of premium automatically and at no additional cost and with a 1 month defer period. Again, unlike other plans on the market Guardian’s waiver of premium goes further, by also enabling clients to waive their premium for up to six months after the birth of a child or if they lose their job.
Where cover is in place to protect a mortgage, Guardian are one of only two insurers to offer a Mortgage Guarantee. Where as most plans will ask the adviser to select an interest rate that should be applied to the plan, Guardian’s mortgage guarantee takes a different approach by guaranteeing to repay the value of the mortgage at point of claim as long as the amount and term is the same as when the policy started and it isn’t in arrears at the time of claim.
Every day and Claim support benefits
Through Guardian Anytime clients have free access to a 24/7 remote GP service and second medical opinion. The GP service provides unlimited appointments and can be used by the client, their spouse or partner and children up to the age of 23. The second medical opinion service is available to the life assured and their children if children’s cover has been included.
Further benefits such as mental health support are also provided, again available to the life assured and their family, whilst Guardian’s HALO claim service provides tailored help and support for the client based on their specific needs.
Where did we score Guardian down?
Whilst the Guardian proposition is strong in many areas compared to the market, there are a couple of areas where their ratings could be improved further.
From a critical illness perspective their coverage of congenital conditions has fallen behind others resulting in them only scoring a silver. Their child survival period of 14 days is longer than some others who offer a zero day or 10 day survival period and this impacts their scores considerably. Also whilst the higher incidence conditions are covered, Guardian do not cover some of the lesser incidence conditions.
From an added value benefits point of view, more preventative and day to day services are becoming more popular and this is an area where Guardian could offer more. In recent years we have seen more insurers offer health checks to clients in a variety of ways and currently Guardian do not offer anything like this.
Whilst these are areas where Guardian could improve their proposition further overall their plans are extremely competitive in terms of coverage and the range and depth of features that are offered. Protection Guru’s ratings are not based on meeting certain requirements but rather how the different plans in the market benchmark against their peers. As such achieving gold in every area highlights the strength of the Guardian proposition.
To find out more about the Guardian proposition, visit our dedicated Showcase Pages: