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Gerber Life offers several products that won’t make sense for most families, such as child life insurance and endowment insurance, along with overpriced term coverage. For most needs, there are better insurance providers out there, but Gerber Life may be worth comparing if you need whole life coverage and want to avoid the hassle of a medical exam.
Top Rated For
- Pros & Cons
- Company Overview
Easy to apply for coverage
Child life coverage doubles at 18
Automatic payment discount
Very expensive term coverage
Need to supply email for quote
Low coverage limits
Gerber Life Insurance has been around since 1967 and was originally founded by Gerber Products Company, the popular manufacturer of baby food. Gerber Life Insurance is now a member of Western & Southern Financial Group Inc. and has $62 billion of life insurance in force across 3.7 million policies as of the end of 2021. Gerber Life is headquartered in White Plains, New York but runs operations out of Fremont, Michigan.
The insurer offers term and whole life insurance for adults, guaranteed life insurance for seniors, and whole life insurance for children in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
- Year Founded 1967
- Kinds of Policies Term life, whole life, guaranteed issue
- Payment Options Checking/savings account or debit/credit card
- Customer Service Mail, email, fax, phone: Existing customers can call 1-800-704-2180
- Official Website www.gerberlife.com
- Easy to apply for coverage: Gerber Life makes it easy to submit your application for most policy types online. Many customers will qualify for no-medical-exam life insurance for up to $300,000 in coverage.
- Quick decision: It’s possible to get a decision instantly if you qualify for coverage without a medical exam or if you’re applying for a guaranteed issue policy.
- Child life coverage doubles at 18: Gerber Life automatically doubles the death benefit on its policies for kids and young adults when the child reaches age 18 without a rise in premiums.
- Automatic payment discount: You can save up to 10% on your monthly premiums by enrolling in automatic deductions from your account.
- Very expensive term coverage: Gerber charges more than double what many other insurance providers charge healthy applicants, and almost triple what the most affordable insurers charge—which could undo any discounts the company offers. Of the 32 companies we collected term life insurance quotes for, Gerber’s were the 2nd most expensive across all age groups.
- Need to supply email for quote: If you want to compare quotes from Gerber Life to other companies, you’ll need to provide your email address, which could result in unwanted emails from the company. Many other insurers let you get a quote without providing personal information.
- Low coverage limits: You will need to call Gerber Life to be approved for a death benefit greater than $300,000, and the highest death benefit you can get is $1 million. Many other companies offer coverage well into the millions, even without requiring a medical exam.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects data on complaints against insurance companies and creates a “complaint index” so consumers can get a quick idea of how many complaints an insurance company receives. An index of 1.0 indicates the company received the number of complaints expected for a company its size. A complaint index lower than 1.0 means the company received fewer complaints than expected, while an index greater than 1.0, means it received more than expected. The lower the complaint index, the better.
Gerber Life had a complaint index of .70 in 2021. We also measured its NAIC complaint indexes over three years, resulting in Gerber receiving an average NAIC complaint index of .53. That means that Gerber Life had less complaints than expected over a three-year period given the company’s size. The Gerber Life complaint index is low, in line with most of the top life insurance companies we review who maintain a complaint index of well under 1.0 each year.
Gerber Life Insurance has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, an independent rating agency focused on the insurance industry. This is important because when an insurance company gets a good grade from AM Best, it means the provider has the financial stability to reliably pay claims in the future. We typically don’t recommend any insurance company that doesn’t score in the A bracket. While Gerber Life’s rating is very good, many other life insurance companies have superior financial strength ratings (A+ and A++).
AM Best assesses a company's ability to pay its claims on a graded scale, with A++ being the highest. All our best life insurance companies have at least an A rating.
|Gerber Life||Lafayette Life Insurance Company||Erie Insurance|
|Types of Coverage||Term, whole, guaranteed issue||Term, whole, final expense||Term, whole, universal|
|AM Best Rating||A||A+||A|
|Price for Term Policies||Poor||Information not available||Information not available|
|NAIC Complaint Index (averaged over three years)||1.267||0.167||0.077|
Term Life Insurance
With term life insurance, your beneficiaries only receive the death benefit if you die within the specified term, which is typically between 10 and 30 years. Many adults use term life insurance to protect their families during a period when they have financial obligations, such as paying off a mortgage or saving for college. Term life policies don’t typically build cash value, but they’re much cheaper than permanent life insurance policies.
Gerber Life Term Life Plan
With the Gerber Life Term Life Plan, you can apply for between $100,000 and $1 million in term coverage with a 10, 20, or 30-year term. Premiums are fixed for the duration of the term. Note that you’ll need to call for a quote for coverage amounts greater than $300,000. While applicants ages 51 and older applying for more than $100,000 in coverage will need to get a medical exam, most other customers can apply online without an exam (for coverage up to $300,000). At the end of the term, you also have the option to renew your policy without a medical exam.
Whole Life Insurance
Like its name implies, whole life insurance is designed to provide coverage for the duration of your life. These policies build cash value over time, and no matter when you die, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit as long as you’ve paid your premiums. Whole life insurance is much more costly than term life coverage.
Gerber Life Whole Life Policy
With the Gerber Life Whole Life Policy, you can apply for $50,000 to $300,000 in coverage online or up to $1 million by phone. Premiums stay level for the life of the policy. Medical exams are only necessary for applicants ages 51 and older applying for more than $100,000 in coverage. As long as you pay your premiums, you’ll be eligible to borrow against the cash value of your policy with an interest rate of 8%.
Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan
You can apply online for this children’s whole life insurance policy, for between $5,000 and $50,000 in coverage for a child at least 14 days old. That coverage automatically doubles when the child turns 18 without an increase in premiums. When your child turns 21, they become the policyholder and can continue coverage for the same level premium or opt to purchase more coverage at standard adult rates without a medical exam. This policy builds cash value, which can be borrowed against.
Gerber Life Young Adult Plan
This plan is designed for young adults ages 15 to 17 and is very similar to the Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan. You can buy between $5,000 and $50,000 in whole life coverage for your teen child or grandchild and that coverage doubles when the teen reaches age 18 without an increase in premiums. You are the policy owner until your teen reaches age 21. This policy is only available by phone.
Gerber Life Insurance College Plan
While this is marketed as a college savings plan, it’s a permanent life insurance policy that builds a cash value. The policy is designed to mature, or end, after a certain number of years—determined based on when your child would need it for college. At that point, your child would receive a cash payout in the same amount as the death benefit. It’s also known as an “endowment policy.” If you die before the policy reaches maturity, the same payout is provided to your beneficiary as a death benefit.
You can choose a guaranteed payout between $10,000 and $150,000, which will be provided to your beneficiary if you die before the policy matures or when the policy matures. The rate of return varies, but this plan will generate taxable income if the money is not received as a death benefit.
Before you consider purchasing a policy like the Gerber Life Insurance College Plan, familiarize yourself with endowment insurance, as it may not be an ideal savings vehicle or the best life insurance product.
Final Expense or Burial Insurance
This type of permanent insurance coverage provides low coverage amounts—usually less than $50,000—and asks few to no health questions. It’s designed for older adults and seniors who may have health problems, need little coverage, and don’t want to hassle with a long application process.
Gerber Life Guaranteed Life Insurance
If you’re a senior between 50 and 80 and want to get guaranteed acceptance coverage without a medical exam or health questions, you can get between $5,000 and $25,000 in coverage from Gerber Life. Plus, you can get a quote and apply online.
The Gerber Life Guaranteed Life Insurance Policy is a whole life insurance policy with level premiums that builds cash value. This policy comes with a graded death benefit. If you die within two years, your beneficiary will get the premiums you paid plus an additional 10%. After this period, the full death benefit becomes available.
Riders are add-ons or endorsements to a life insurance policy that offer customization of coverage. For example, some life insurance providers offer accelerated death benefit riders that allow you to access some of the benefit ahead of your death if you face certain terminal or chronic illnesses. Some companies also offer a waiver of premium rider that allows you to stop making payments if you become totally or permanently disabled. Here are your options at Gerber Life.
Guaranteed Purchase Option Rider
When a child covered under a Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan turns 21, they’ll have 90 days to purchase additional coverage at standard adult rates without a medical exam. They’re guaranteed this option regardless of their health status. Additional coverage is available for purchase up to four times: At age 25, 35, and certain other ages, and upon marriage or childbirth. The limit is ten times the original coverage amount or up to $100,000 in additional protection.
Payment Protection Option Rider
You can add this waiver of premium rider to the Gerber Grow-Up Plan, and if you (the policyholder) die or become disabled, you can stop making premium payments. The child will need to resume premium payments on their 21st birthday to keep the policy in force.
Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
This rider is included at no additional cost with the Gerber Life Whole Life Policy and Gerber’s term policy. Should you be diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 12 months or less, you can request a one-time advance of up to half your death benefit to use for care costs or other expenses.
Disability Waiver of Premium Rider
Similar to the Payment Protection Option Rider, this rider is available at an extra cost with Gerber Life Whole Life Policies for applicants ages 18 to 59. With this rider, you can waive premiums after six months of total disability. This rider is not available in California.
You can reach Gerber Life by email, fax, mail, or phone. For new applicants, customer support hours are from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Easter time (ET) Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Saturday. Choose the phone number to call based on the plan you are most interested in:
|Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan||1-800-704-3331|
|Gerber Life Insurance College Plan||1-866-503-4487|
|Gerber Life Term Plan||1-866-503-4480|
|Gerber Life Whole Life Plan||1-800-425-7542|
|Gerber Life Guaranteed Plan||1-866-503-4481|
|Gerber Life Accident Protection Plan||1-866-674-3051|
Customer service hours for existing customers are more limited. You can call 1-800-704-2180 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET on weekdays or 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET on Saturday. Many other life insurance companies have a live chat feature, and some have 24/7 customer support, so Gerber Life’s offerings are relatively limited.
We pulled quotes for applicants in excellent health at different ages and found that pricing for term coverage at Gerber Life is much more costly than at other providers. Below are quotes for 30-year term policies with a $250,000 death benefit.
As a point of comparison, a 25-year-old male would only pay $19 per month for the same coverage at Ethos, which is less than half the cost. Most other providers charge between $17 and $23.
But life insurance premiums are highly individualized. If you’re young and in excellent health, Gerber Life probably won’t be the best value. But if you have some health issues, you may want to get a quote from Gerber for comparison.
Is Gerber Life Insurance Right for Me?
If you have health issues and want whole life insurance without a medical exam, it might be worth getting a quote from Gerber Life. If you want child life insurance, you might consider Gerber because of the death benefit doubling feature, but other companies offer whole life policies for children as well, so comparing quotes is essential.
But if you’re in the market for term insurance, Gerber’s term coverage is incredibly overpriced. Furthermore, other life insurance companies have better financial strength ratings, better indicators of customer satisfaction, more features, and more accessible customer service.
How We Review Life Insurance Carriers
We designed a comprehensive rating methodology based on consumer priorities and life insurance company fundamentals to rank more than 90 insurers across five general categories: financial stability, customer satisfaction, product and feature variety, the overall buying experience, and cost.
In order to do this, we collected over 5,000 data points and scored each company based on 55 metrics. We grouped metrics by category to see how insurers performed in each; we then weighted category scores to determine how companies performed overall.
To learn more, read our full Life Insurance Methodology.