2018 Guardian Annual Report


The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY. logo


Everyone deserves a Guardian


“There has never been a time when my inquiries were met with anything less than kindness, understanding and patience. Every staff member I spoke with seems to have an innate ability to reach across the phone line to reassure me that they will do whatever they can to help me return to the workplace healthy, happy and productive.”

Mary M., A short- and long-term disability customer


President and Chief Executive Officer



Every time I hear from customers like Mary, I’m filled with tremendous pride. In a world where customer expectations are continually evolving, our colleagues are working hard to exceed the expectations of our 27 million customers every day. And, because of their hard work, we delivered another strong year for Guardian.

There’s one constant that has been the guiding force behind our success. To this day, our founding values influence every decision we make: people count, we do the right thing and we hold ourselves to very high standards.

This year was our moment to share with the world what we’ve known for a long time — core values matter; they bring us together and they make us stronger. With that belief, for the very first time in 158 years, we launched an advertising campaign to introduce Guardian to people who aren’t yet our customers and share why everyone deserves a Guardian.

Being a Guardian comes to life in how we do business, participate in our communities and serve the people who use our products and services each day. Here are a few examples from this year: We launched a platform called Guardian Direct to provide access to benefits for those who don’t have insurance from an employer. We launched a partnership with Children’s Health Fund and Dental Lifeline to provide dental health services to people who don’t have them. We continued to answer the call for customers like Mary, and improve the ways we serve customer needs.

Doing the right thing drives performance

Our focus on doing the right thing once again helped us deliver a record $980.6 million dividend to you, our policyholders — the highest in our history. We ended the year with earnings of $1.6 billion and record capital of $8.5 billion, and we expanded our services to reach 27 million customers. Our customer care teams were recognized as industry leaders in delivering superior service by J.D. Power and DALBAR, organizations that rate service across the industry.

People at the heart of innovation

We are focused on innovating so we can anticipate and meet the needs of consumers through technology, training and even our work environments. We continued to advance our technology infrastructure to innovate faster, partner with other companies and operate more securely and efficiently than ever before. And we are making it easier for people to get information and service where and when they need it through dedicated customer experience and data analytics teams.

We encourage innovation around client challenges from all our employees — over 5,500 colleagues participated in innovation sessions. A great example includes some of our most talented up-and-coming professionals who joined together to find new solutions to business challenges. They did. And we’re now developing their ideas. These include an application that uses a person’s voice to securely identify them and provide the information they want about their dental insurance, and a customer-guided blueprint for effective onboarding and back-office operations.

We are also continuing to invest in new workplaces that make it possible for people to do their best work together, powered by technology, tools and lots of natural light. Our office at Bell Works in New Jersey has added inspiration because of its history as the former Bell Labs research center, well-known for innovation before Silicon Valley existed. And in mid-2019, our New York headquarters will move to the new Hudson Yards neighborhood in New York City.

A company rooted in service

Service is part of our mission, and it comes to life through our involvement in communities, our proactive care of customers and our passion for what we do.

This year, our colleagues volunteered more than 12,000 hours, boosted by our first Summer of Service challenge. Our employee giving campaign hit record numbers and supported more than 1,500 charities across the country. And we continued to invest in future workforce development through our partnerships with community colleges and organizations such as Girls Who Code, and Grace Hopper.

When hurricanes battered Florida, we sprang into action. Within hours, we were able to generate reports to identify customers in the path of Hurricane Florence. Our teams worked tirelessly to call more than 2,000 customers to ensure they were safe and able to access their payments. Their heartfelt responses, such as, “I never thought an insurance company would be so considerate and thoughtful,” reminded us how important it is to be a Guardian for our consumers.

Our commitment runs deep. In a recent survey, 92 percent of our colleagues said they were proud to work for Guardian. As you read through this year’s report, you will notice one common theme: Every colleague within the company believes strongly in our purpose and is proud of the work they do. These stories are examples of how we serve as Guardians for our customers, communities and each other. Because everyone deserves a Guardian.

Deanna M. Mulligan
President and Chief Executive Officer