Guardian Life Insurance Company of America

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Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Type Mutual
Industry Insurance: Life & Health
Founded 1860
Headquarters 7 Hanover Square
New York, New York, USA
Key people Deanna Mulligan, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO); D. Scott Dolfi, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Employees 5,400 (12/31/09)

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America is a Fortune 300 company founded in 1860 in New York, New York. It is one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States.

Current business[edit]

A mutual insurer founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and its subsidiaries sell life, long term care insurance, disability income, group medical and dental insurance products, and offer 401(k), annuities and other financial products. Guardian operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, covering more than six million employees and their families at 120,000 companies. The company has more than 5,400 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide.[citation needed]


The former Germania/Guardian Life Insurance Building on Union Square.

Guardian founder Hugo Wesendonck, a German civil rights lawyer, participated in the 1848-49 revolution and helped draft a constitution for a united Germany. Accused of treason, he fled post-revolution Europe and landed in the U.S. With start-up funds from fellow German refugees, he opened Germania Life Insurance Company in 1860 on Wall Street in New York, to cover the growing number of German immigrants arriving on American shores. Two years later, he opened a branch in San Francisco, and later across the country, reaching territories such as Colorado, New Mexico, and the Dakotas.

In 1868, Germania became the first U.S. insurance company to start an agency in Europe. By the early 20th century, almost half its business was outside North America, until the pressures of World War I forced it to stop its business in Europe.

As operations expanded, the company moved to Union Square in Manhattan in 1911 – a location that would serve as Guardian's headquarters for more than 85 years. In 1979, Guardian began to regionalize many Home Office functions, and satellite offices are now located in Bethlehem, PA; Appleton, WI; Spokane, WA; and Norwell, MA. In 1999, spurred by growth into a diversified financial services company, Guardian relocated its headquarters to 7 Hanover Square in the Wall Street area of New York City. In July 2001, the company completed a merger with Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America (BLICOA) to capitalize on the synergies in the disability insurance business that existed between the two organizations.[citation needed] In 2006, Guardian acquired a majority interest in RS Investments.[citation needed]

The company has sponsored at least two substantial corporate histories, both published by New York University Press: Anita Rapone's Guardian Life Insurance Company, 1860-1920: A History of a German-American Enterprise (1987) and Robert E. Wright and George David Smith's Mutually Beneficial: The Guardian and Life Insurance in America (2004).


On October 14, 2009, the Washington Times reported the company updates one policy offering unlimited home nursing in effect in New York state before any claims.[1] The company was in the right after having won a court case proving they were within the framework of the law. Guardian, however, choose to honor the family's request.


  1. ^ "Insurer ends health program rather than pay out big", The Washington Times, Wednesday, October 14, 2009