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Gerber Life Insurance Review

Jan. 2, 2019
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Gerber life insurance

  • Known for its Gerber Life Grow-Up plans, which provide life insurance on children.
  • Offers small term and whole life policies for adults.
  • Offers whole life with no medical exam for seniors age 50 to 80.

Shopping for life insurance during the pandemic? Be aware that insurers may have changed their products and policy applications. For the latest information on how to cope with financial stress during this emergency, see NerdWallet’s financial guide to COVID-19.

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. Gerber is one of the largest U.S. insurers selling life insurance directly to consumers, rather than through agents.

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.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Take care of what matters most

Your family is unique — your life insurance should be, too.

Gerber life insurance

3.0 NerdWallet rating

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 complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best.

Consumer complaints: Better than the median

Gerber drew fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2017 for a company of its size, according to the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The association assigns a complaint ratio score to insurance companies, based on the number of complaints to state insurance commissioners, adjusted for market share. The median score is 1. A score less than 1 means fewer complaints. Gerber’s score for individual life insurance in 2017 was 0.59.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

Gerber Life Insurance coverage options

Gerber’s offerings for children and adults include:

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.

» MORE: Life insurance for children: The cases for and against

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. 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 for seniors: Adults between ages 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, accident insurance does not pay out if the insured dies from illness or natural causes.

More about Gerber Life

Types of life insurance soldOther products & services
  • Life insurance for children.
  • Term life for adults.
  • Whole life for adults.

     
     
  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
  • Methodology: Life insurance ratings

    NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the NAIC and A.M. Best 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.

    Methodology: Insurer complaints

    NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. 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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.