NEW YORK, August 19, 2014—The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), one of the nation’s largest mutual life insurers and a leading provider of individual disability income insurance, is expanding its Student Loan Protection Rider to be available to anyone with student loan debt. Guardian is the only individual disability income insurance provider to offer this student loan protection. Student loan debt has more than tripled over the past decade and is now estimated at $1 trillion, exceeding credit card and auto debt balances.
Guardian’s Student Loan Protection Rider enables individuals to meet their student loan obligations if they become too ill or injured to work. Available as optional coverage that can be layered onto Guardian’s ProVider Plus or ProVider Plus Limited disability income (DI) insurance policies, Guardian’s Student Loan Protection Rider allows individuals to secure up to $2,000 per month – in addition to the monthly income replacement benefit they would receive as part of their base policy – to stay on track with their loan payments.
Available for as little as $5 per month, Guardian’s Student Loan Protection can be obtained for either a 10 or 15-year term. Applicants can insure all their student loans at once – including undergraduate debt – from multiple sources, up to $2,000 per month. No loan documentation is required until a claim is filed.
"Student loan debt is growing and becoming one of the biggest financial worries for professionals today," said Gordon Dinsmore, President of Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, a subsidiary of Guardian that issues individual DI insurance policies. "Our Student Loan Protection Rider offers anyone with this debt the ability to protect their income and provides them with the flexibility to repay student loans and avoid default."
Unlike many other kinds of debt, student loans cannot be discharged in the event of bankruptcy. Many graduates assume that federal student loans come with exceptions in the case of disability, but the government’s standard is quite restrictive. Under current law, only individuals with “total and permanent” disabilities can have their federal student loans discharged. The vast majority of income-disrupting disabilities, such as back problems and many forms of cancer, generally don’t fall under this definition. And private loans may not have any provisions for disability at all.
A mutual insurer founded in 1860, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian) and its subsidiaries are committed to protecting individuals, business owners and their employees with life, disability income and dental insurance products, and offer funding vehicles for 401(k) plans, annuities and other financial products. Guardian operates one of the largest dental networks in the United States, and protects more than eight million employees and their families at over 115,000 companies. The company has approximately 5,000 employees in the United States and a network of over 3,200 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide. For more information about Guardian, please visit www.GuardianLife.com.