The Gerber Products Company, the company well-known for its baby food and world-famous Gerber baby, launched Gerber Life in 1967 to offer life insurance to young families. Currently, Gerber Life has over $50 billion of life insurance in force. In 2019, Gerber Life sold over 283,000 new life insurance policies.
Offering term, whole, accidental death, and guaranteed issue policies, Gerber Life specializes in insurance for young children, including babies and infants. For those who want to get protection for their child from the unexpected or who want to save for their future, Gerber Life may be a good option for you.
- Pros & Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Medical exams may not be needed for whole or term life policies
Guaranteed issue policies available
You can get a discount on some plans if you sign up for automatic payments
Plans not available in all states
Low coverage limits
- The company was founded in 1967.
- Gerber Life is no longer part of the Gerber Products Company.
- Gerber Life provides life insurance to over 3.6 million policyholders.
- The company offers whole, term, accidental, and guaranteed issue policies.
- It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on most policies.
While Gerber Life was originally part of the Gerber Products Company, it no longer is. It was sold to Western & Southern Financial Group in 2018, but it continues to use the Gerber name and logo as part of a licensing agreement.
Gerber Life is headquartered in White Plains, New York. While other companies sell insurance through insurance agents or financial professionals, Gerber Life is a direct-to-consumer agency. Customers can get quotes and purchase insurance entirely online or over the phone.
While Gerber Life is licensed in all states, some of its policies are not available in every state.
- Year Founded 1967
- Kinds of Plans Whole, term, accident, guaranteed issue, children’s insurance
- Number of Plans 7
- Payment Plan Options Monthly
- Customer Service Phone, online
- Phone 800-704-3331
- Official Website www.gerberlife.com
- Medical exams may not be needed for whole or term life policies: While most insurance companies require all applicants to undergo medical exams for term and whole life insurance policies, Gerber Life does not. Depending on your answers to the health questions on the application, you may be able to get coverage without an exam.
- Guaranteed issue policies available: Gerber Life offers guaranteed issue policies for people between ages 50 and 80. There are no medical exams or health questions to answer, and your acceptance is guaranteed.
- You can get a discount if you sign up for automatic payments: You can get a discount on your monthly premiums if you sign up for automatic payments from a savings or checking account.
- Plans not available in all states: While Gerber Life is licensed in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, not all of its plans are available in every state. Depending on where you live, your options may be more limited.
- Low coverage limits: Gerber Life has relatively low coverage amounts. While other companies allow you to get $1 million or more in life insurance, the maximum amount of coverage you can get with Gerber Life is a $300,000 term or whole life policy.
- Higher-than-average rates: Compared to other companies, Gerber Life’s premiums are typically more expensive. If you are in good health and willing to undergo a medical exam, you can likely find lower rates elsewhere.
As a direct-to-consumer company, Gerber Life’s customer service team fielded nearly 1.5 million calls in 2019.
While Gerber Life is primarily known for its life insurance products for children, it has policies designed for adults, including seniors. It has whole, term, accidental death, and guaranteed issue policies.
When it comes to children, Gerber Life has plans for every stage, from newborns to young adults. It has options that combine life insurance with college planning as well. Gerber Life has seven different plans to choose from.
Accident protection insurance provides coverage against accidental death or a covered disabling injury. With Gerber Life, you can get $20,000 to $100,000 in coverage without a physical exam, and your approval is guaranteed if you are between 19 and 69. You can apply online, and your coverage will go into effect as soon as you make your first premium payment.
Accident Protection insurance is not available in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, or Washington.
If you’re between 50 and 80, you can qualify for guaranteed life insurance. You can get $5,000 to $25,000 of whole life insurance, and your acceptance is guaranteed. In South Dakota, the maximum amount of coverage you can get is $15,000. There is no medical exam or health questions to answer.
A portion of your monthly premiums is set aside as the cash value of your policy. Over time, the cash value can grow, and you can borrow against that money if needed.
Term life insurance provides coverage for a set period, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. Your beneficiaries only receive the death benefit if you pass away during the policy’s term. Term life policies tend to be more affordable than other forms of life insurance, and your premium rate is locked in for the policy’s duration.
Gerber Life offers $100,000 to $300,000 of coverage. In most cases, you don’t need to undergo a medical exam. However, if you are over the age of 51 and apply for more than $100,000 of coverage, you will need to get a physical exam.
Whole life insurance is permanent insurance that lasts for your lifetime. Gerber Life offers $50,000 to $300,000 of coverage, and adults between 18 and 70 can apply. Your policy can gain cash value over time, and you can borrow against the policy to cover unexpected expenses or to supplement your retirement income.
Medical exams are usually not necessary. If you are over the age of 51 and applying for more than $100,000 in coverage, however, a medical exam is required.
Gerber Life charges an 8% policy loan interest rate on whole life and guaranteed issue policies.
Life Insurance for Children
Gerber Life is well-known for its life insurance policies for children. It has three different plans:
- Children Grow-Up Plan: With the Grow-Up Plan, you purchase whole life coverage for your child or grandchild. The coverage amount automatically doubles when the child turns 18, so $25,000 becomes $50,000 at no additional cost. You are the policy owner on the plan until the child turns 21, and then they are the policy owner. They can decide to continue the policy and pay the premiums or surrender the policy and receive its accumulated cash value.
- Gerber Life Young Adult Plan: The Young Adult Plan is for teens between 15 and 17. It’s a permanent whole life policy and doubles in value when the child turns 18. You can get $5,000 to $50,000 of coverage, and you are the policyholder until the child is 21.
- Gerber Life College Plan: The Gerber Life College Plan combines life insurance with college savings. It offers a guaranteed payment of $10,000 to $150,000 as long as your premiums are paid. And, if something were to happen to you, the full amount of your policy is paid as a death benefit to your beneficiary.
Some insurance companies allow you to add riders, also known as insurance endorsements, to your policy to customize your coverage. With some riders, you can add coverage, include additional family members, or access your death benefits early under certain conditions.
Unfortunately, Gerber Life only has a single rider, so the ability to customize your policy is very limited.
The only rider available is the guaranteed purchase option life insurance rider on Grow-Up Plans. This rider is included with your policy at no additional cost. It gives your child the option to buy additional coverage once they reach 21, at the standard adult premium rates, with no medical exam.
Your child has 90 days after turning 21 to buy adult life insurance, and they can buy up to 10 times the original coverage amount, up to a maximum of $100,000 in insurance.
Gerber Life Insurance performs well in terms of customer service.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) releases company complaint ratios every year. A complaint ratio is the number that indicates how many complaints the NAIC received relative to the company’s market share.
The NAIC set 1.0 as the industry standard. Any complaint ratio below 1.0 is better-than-average, while a ratio above 1.0 is worse-than-average. Gerber Life Insurance Company’s complaint ratio for 2019 was 0.51, which is better than the industry standard.
For the past three years, Gerber has had consistently low complaint ratios, receiving fewer complaints than is expected for its size.
AM Best is the credit rating agency that issues Financial Strength Ratings (FSRs) on the insurance industry. Its FSRs are its opinions on companies’ abilities to meet their financial, contractual, and policy obligations. A high rating indicates that a company is financially sound and able to pay out its claims.
AM Best awarded Gerber Life Insurance Company an A (Excellent) rating in 2019, reflecting the company’s balance sheet strength and operating performance.
Gerber was not included in the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Life Insurance Study. The study ranked 24 major life insurance companies based on their product offerings, prices, and customer interactions.
Most companies offer a 10-day free look period, where customers can review and cancel their policies without penalty.
Gerber Life goes a step further and offers a 30-day free look feature. You have 30 days to review and accept your policy. If you decide you no longer want your policy, you can cancel it for a full refund of premiums that have been paid.
After the free look period, cancellation policies vary based on your policy, so review your contract carefully. For example, you can cancel your Grow-Up Plan at any time. You’ll receive the accumulated cash value that has built up, minus any outstanding debt.
To cancel your policy, call 800-704-2180.
When it comes to pricing, Gerber Life tends to be more expensive than the average cost for individuals in good to excellent health.
Rates vary based on your location, gender, age, and smoking history. The below rates include the automatic payment discount.
|Coverage Amount||35-Year-Old Female, Non-Smoker||35-Year-Old Male, Non-Smoker|
Like other life insurance companies, Gerber Life does require you to choose between “male” or “female” when getting a quote and applying for coverage; there isn’t a nonbinary option. Being nonbinary doesn’t disqualify you from getting life insurance coverage. However, the underwriting processes of most companies haven’t been updated to reflect an awareness of gender issues.
Gerber Life has a range of life insurance products geared toward young families with children. If you’re looking for coverage that provides protection for your children that can also help you save for their college education, Gerber Life may be a useful option for you.
However, Gerber Life’s policies may be more expensive than plans from other life insurance companies. It also has relatively low coverage limits. With a maximum coverage amount of just $300,000, a Gerber Life policy will probably be insufficient to fully provide for your family’s needs if you pass away.
If you’re looking for policies with higher coverage amount and competitive pricing, consider New York Life. New York Life has term, whole, and universal life policies, and you can get $1 million or more in coverage. It also has multiple riders so you can customize your coverage, such as chronic care and living benefit riders.
New York Life was ranked eighth out of 24 life insurance companies in the J.D. Power Life Insurance Study, with a rating of “better than most” for pricing and customer interaction.
|Gerber Life Insurance||New York Life|
|Market Share||Not applicable||Third-largest in the U.S., 6.0%|
|Number of Plans||7||10|
|Dividends for 2020||Not applicable||$1.9 billion|
|Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Service Method||Phone, web||Agents|
|AM Best Rating||A (Excellent)||A++ (Superior)|
|Price Rank||Fair||Better Than Most|
If you want to get life insurance for your child to help give them a head start as young adults or want a supplemental policy for yourself, Gerber Life may be a viable option. If you are under the age of 51, you can qualify for most of its insurance policies without a medical exam, and you can get coverage as soon as you make your first premium payment.
However, it has relatively low coverage amounts, and its premiums are more expensive than you’ll find with other insurance companies. If you’re willing to shop around and undergo a medical exam, you can likely find more robust coverage at more affordable rates elsewhere.
How We Review Life Insurance Companies
Our reviews of life insurance companies are based on a quantitative approach that analyzes each insurer on their stability and reliability, customer service, claims experience, diversity of product lines, and cost. We compare the terms of each type of policy offered—including available coverage amounts, optional riders, and premium payment options—with those of other major life insurance companies. Lastly, we look at how the company is rated by third-party organizations to determine its reliability and overall reputation.
Western & Southern Financial. "2019 Annual Report," Page 14. Accessed September 8, 2020.
Western & Souther Financial. "Western & Southern Completes Purchase of Gerber Life." Accessed September 8, 2020.
Reuters. "Nestle to Sell Gerber Life Insurance Unit for $1.55 Billion." Accessed September 8, 2020.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Complaint Index." Accessed September 8, 2020.
Businesswire. "AM Best Removes From Under Review With Positive Implications and Upgrades Issuer Credit Rating of Gerber Life Insurance Company." Accessed September 8, 2020.
J.D. Power. "Life Insurance and Annuity Providers Are More Customer-Centric but Gaps Remain, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed September 8, 2020.
J.D. Power. "Life Insurance and Annuity Providers Are More Customer-Centric but Gaps Remain, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed September 8, 2020.