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Bottom line: With lots of policies for children and teens but more complaints than expected, Gerber is a popular option for parents but may not be your best bet.
Policies offered: Term, permanent & no-exam.
Financial strength: Strong.
Complaints: More than expected.
Buy online? Yes.
How we review life insurance companies
Gerber is best known for its life insurance policies for children, but the company also sells small term and whole life insurance policies for adults.
If you’re considering buying life insurance on a child, it’s important to look past the sales pitches and consider the pros and cons. Your money may be better put elsewhere, such as a 529 college savings plan.
Gerber life insurance
Gerber earned 3 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.
» MORE: Best life insurance companies
Gerber life insurance pros and cons
Provides policies without a medical exam, making it easier to get life insurance.
More than the expected number of complaints for a company of its size.
Sells policies for all ages: children, teens, adults and seniors.
No app available for consumers to manage their life insurance policy.
» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes
Gerber life insurance policies
Whole life for children: The Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan is a whole life insurance policy for children with coverage options of $5,000 to $50,000. Parents, grandparents and legal guardians can apply when children are between 14 days and 14 years old. The coverage amount doubles at age 18, and the child becomes the policy owner at age 21. Gerber also offers a whole life policy for teens. Parents or grandparents can purchase this for teens ages 15 to 17.
Endowment life insurance: The Gerber Life College Plan is pitched as a college savings plan that doubles as adult life insurance. The product is an “endowment life insurance” policy, which pays out a lump sum on a certain date or when the insured dies, whichever comes sooner. Typically a policy would insure a parent, and the maturity date would be timed to coincide with a child’s high school graduation. Coverage options range from $10,000 to $150,000. The rate of return varies depending on the policy. Returns are taxable income.
Term life: Terms of 10, 20 or 30 years are available for $100,000 to $300,000 of term life insurance coverage for adults. Most people will not have to take a medical exam and many will get a decision on the application in minutes. An exam is required for ages 51 and older who apply for more than $100,000 of coverage.
Whole life: Coverage of $50,000 to $300,000 is available for adults. Medical history is considered, but a medical exam is not required in most cases. An exam is required for people ages 51 and older who apply for more than $100,000 of coverage.
Guaranteed issue whole life: Adults between 50 and 80 can apply for $5,000 to $25,000 in whole life coverage. No medical exam is required, and acceptance is guaranteed.
Accidental death and dismemberment insurance: Gerber’s accident protection insurance pays out if the insured person dies or suffers a disabling injury, such as the loss of a foot, hand or eyesight, from an accident. Unlike life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance does not pay out if the insured dies from illness or natural causes. Coverage is available in amounts from $20,000 to $100,000.
Gerber customer complaints
Gerber drew more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for a company of its size for life insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
More about Gerber life insurance
Gerber Life’s website provides detailed information about its policies, including FAQs and blog posts to learn more about life insurance basics. You can also get a quote, pay your bill, view your policy and update beneficiary information.
Life insurance buying guide
Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.
When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.
Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.
For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.
Life insurance ratings methodology
NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.
These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.