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With significantly higher rates than average, smaller coverage amounts, and few rider options, there’s little reason to choose Gerber Life unless you need a quick guaranteed issue policy for final expenses.
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Gerber Life Insurance Review
No medical exams
Discounts for setting up automatic payments
Guaranteed level premiums
Extremely expensive for small coverage
Only one rider available
Policies for children are confusing
Life insurance for children typically not a wise option
THE BOTTOM LINE
Gerber Life is not an affordable life insurance option for most people. With rates significantly higher than the industry average, coverage amounts much smaller than the competition, and little in the way of rider options, there’s little reason to choose Gerber Life unless you really need a quick guaranteed issue policy for final expenses.
Gerber is number 14 on Policygenius' list of the best life insurance companies, based on cost, financial confidence, third-party customer ratings, life insurance policy options, and ease of application.
GERBER LIFE INSURANCE SPOTLIGHT
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IN THIS ARTICLE
No medical exams. In most cases, you don't need to go through a physical medical exam if you’re under 51 years of age. All you have to do is answer some basic medical questions.
Discounts for setting up automatic payments. Applicants can receive up to 10 percent off their monthly premium if they set up an automatic payment with Gerber Life’s customer portal.
Guaranteed level premiums. Your premiums are level, or fixed, which means they stay the same throughout the length of your policy — unless you renew your policy, then you’re subject to rising premiums.
Extremely expensive for small amounts of coverage. If you need more than $300,000 in coverage then you need to look for another life insurance carrier. Additionally, you’re going to pay significantly more than the competition for that little benefit.
Only one rider available. Gerber Life’s website mentions only one premium of waiver for disability rider available for the adult whole life policy. Besides that, there’s not much shoppers can do here to customize their plans.
Policies for children are confusing. Gerber Life offers three separate plans meant for providing life insurance and savings for children. Gerber Life doesn’t make it clear what specific plan is best-suited for particular customers.
Life insurance for children is typically not a wise option. Life insurance for a child is typically sold by companies as a way to save money for your kid’s future. We suggest you just open a traditional savings account or 529 plan, unless you’re okay paying monthly fees to an insurer for little yield in the end.
Life insurance depends on numerous factors, including age, gender, the state you live in, and your health status. Depending on any of those details, you could pay more or less than the industry average for term life insurance.
With Gerber Life you’re practically guaranteed to pay way more than the industry average.
The company, a subsidiary of the baby-food-making Gerber Products Company, offers term and whole life insurance for adults, children, and seniors. We used their online quote tool to apply for $250,000 of term life insurance on a 20-year length plan for a non-smoking male in California.
Here’s what we found:
|AGE||GERBER LIFE COST||INDUSTRY AVERAGE|
Note that the rate for the 60s age group is for a 10-year term plan.
Across the board for all ages, Gerber Life term life insurance is considerably higher than the industry average. For comparison, AIG offers an average rate of $13.53 for a healthy male in their 20s for a $250,000, 20-year policy.
When it comes to term life insurance for adults, Gerber Life is an extremely expensive proposition. You’re better off researching other carriers for term life plans.
Compare Gerber Life Insurance to other top-rated companies
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Gerber Life has been around since 1967. Founded by the Gerber Products Company, they have over $50 billion of life insurance in force. With over 50 years of history, and billions in the bank, their outlook looks pretty solid.
That’s according, at least, to A.M. Best, the only firm with a rating for Gerber Life:
Credit rating firm A.M. Best focuses specifically on the insurance industry. They award Gerber Life an A, or “excellent”, which means the company’s outlook is very stable, and it has the superior ability to fulfill financial obligations to customers.
Financial analysis services Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have not rated Gerber Life.
Gerber Life policyholders seem only slightly satisfied with their carrier of choice.
Here’s what customers and customer rating agencies think:
The Better Business Bureau, which grades companies based on their advertising and customer complaints, awards Gerber Life an A+, with a 1-star customer rating based on 13 reviews. Customers have had issues canceling policies, filing claims, and confusing products for one another.
Consumers Advocate, which focuses on a company’s reputation, policies, and stability, gives Gerber Life a 4.5 out of 5, based on a review from 2017.
Consumer Affairs lets customers directly review and rate companies. Based on over 90 customer reviews, Gerber Life gets a 3.4 out of 5 stars. Common complaints include billing issues, problems filing claims, and long customer service wait times.
J.D. Power, which ranks insurance companies based on policies, price, and the clarity of billing and policy information, did not include Gerber Life as part of its 2019 life insurance study.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. Based on their complaint index, Gerber Life has a 1.56 rating. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, and a zero means there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. Gerber Life has a few more complaints than the average.
Gerber Life has term, whole, and guaranteed life insurance options for adults, children, and seniors.
Their unique products include the Grow-Up Plan, which provides whole life insurance for children. There are also term and whole life policies for adults, though the death benefits are quite small, with a maximum of $300,000. There is also a whole life product with no medical exam for seniors aged 50 to 80.
Gerber Life also has a standalone accident coverage plan, a plan specifically for teens, and a college savings plan that blends adult life insurance with a savings fund.
Gerber Life’s term product is quite basic. Coverage ranges from $100,000 to $300,000, which is not much compared to other carriers. Premiums stay level throughout the term. Term lengths can be 10, 20, or 30 years.
There is no medical exam required unless the applicant is 51 years old and applies for more than $100,000. You just need to answer some health-related questions while applying. Gerber Life says decisions are usually made within minutes.
Terms can be renewed without a physical exam, but premiums will increase each time.
There are no riders available for Gerber Life’s term life option.
Term life policies can be converted to permanent plans, but only towards the end of the term. At which point, the policy will go through another underwriting process with some screening questions.
Another basic policy, this one offers $50,000 to $300,000 of life long insurance protection. Rates are level, and like most other products from Gerber Life, no medical exam is necessary unless the applicant is 51 years old or older and applies for more than $100,000 in coverage.
This policy builds cash value, which the policyholder can use to cover other expenses.
This policy is also the only one from Gerber Life with a rider available.
No matter your health status, seniors aged 50 to 80 are guaranteed to be accepted for this type of whole life policy. Meant to help with final expenses, including burial costs, debt, or medical bills, applicants can choose between $5,000 to $25,000 of coverage. The policy builds cash value.
There are no medical exams required. There’s no health questionnaires to fill out, either. You just have to submit an online application.
This policy comes with a 30-day trial, so if you don’t like what it provides for any reason you can cancel it for a full refund and retrieve all paid premiums.
Basically a standalone accidental death and disability benefit, this provides $20,000 to $100,000 of coverage that can help pay for lost income, medical costs, or burial expenses, or other debts.
Your spouse or partner can also apply for up to a combined total of $200,000. Issue ages are 19 to 69 years old.
Premiums stay level and never increase, regardless of age or health.
There is no physical exam necessary, and no health questions to answer. Gerber Life says acceptance is guaranteed. However, this plan is not available in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, or Washington.
We generally don’t recommend life insurance for children since the payouts are so low, and the cash value takes decades to build. And when it does build, it won’t be enough to cover anything substantial like a wedding or college tuition.
Also, one of the main reasons to get life insurance is to replace lost income. Unless your child stars in Stranger Things, kids usually have no earnings that need replacing. Adults with kids are better off adding a child rider to their own policy, or opening a regular savings account.
This is a whole life insurance policy for children aged 14 days to 14 years old. Premiums are level and the policy builds cash value. You get up to a 10 percent discount if you set up automatic payments.
Parents, grandparents, or legal guardians are the policyholders until the child turns 21. At that point, the child becomes the policy owner and can continue coverage if premiums are paid. You can also switch to Gerber Life’s Young Adult whole life insurance for teens when the child turns 15.
The Grow-Up Plan’s coverage ranges from $5,000 to $50,000, and coverage automatically doubles when the child turns 18. So, a $10,000 policy will become a $20,000 one, without need for a health check-up or hike in monthly premiums.
Depending on age, the insured can switch to Gerber Life’s Young Adult whole life plan or regular adult whole life plan.
A combination of adult term life insurance with a college savings fund, Gerber Life’s College Plan grows in cash value and offers a guaranteed benefit of $10,000 to $150,000 when the policy matures. The full benefit is paid to a beneficiary if the insured dies before that.
We can’t recommend this type of policy either. You can’t choose how your cash value is invested, and considering the amount you’ll pay in premiums you’re not going to be saving much money in the first place. Plus, if you want to cancel, you’re only guaranteed money back at the policy's midpoint. So, if you cancel a 10-year plan in the fourth year, you’re out of luck.
If you want to combine a college savings fund with life insurance, we recommend choosing a regular term life plan and simply opening a savings account or 529 plan.
A whole life plan for children ages 15 to 17. Like the Grow-Up Plan, the child’s parent or guardian is the policyowner until the child turns 21. Coverage ranges from $5,000 to $50,000 and builds cash value.
Also like the Grow-Up plan, coverage automatically doubles upon the child’s 18th birthday with no increase to the monthly premium.
Gerber Life has a decent website with clear, laid-out product descriptions for each policy. However, customers can become easily confused between the Grow-Up Plan and College Plan, since there’s little real difference between the two. There’s also a blog section and FAQ, though some of the resources could go into more detail and some of the fine print should be easier to find.
You can reach customer service by phone or email, regular mail, and even fax. In our experience, the phone line service was courteous, quick, and helpful.
There is no online chat service.
Gerber Life is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Some Gerber Life policies may vary by area.
Application length varies by product, though some products will only take a few minutes.
This depends on the age and health of the applicant. Some policies can activate immediately, but for the most part expect to wait up to two weeks on average.
Gerber Life will mail and send your policy electronically.
Policyholders can update their address, contact info, view and manage policies using Gerber Life’s eService customer portal.
However, to change beneficiaries and cancel policies, the insured must print out and submit a form by mail.
Gerber Life offers the usual ways to pay your bills.
Premium payments that are automatically withdrawn will receive an additional discount.
There’s not much besides the online quote tool and the eServices feature that lets policyholders manage their account.
To file a benefits claim, the beneficiary must call Gerber Life and submit the following information:
Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.
About the author
Tim Torres is the reviews editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the last ten years.
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
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