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Gerber Life Insurance Review 2021

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.
June 1, 2021
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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Gerber life insurance

  • Rated 3 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Known for its Gerber Life Grow-Up plans, which provide life insurance for children.
  • Offers whole life with no medical exam for seniors age 50 to 80.

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 sells 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

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.

Gerber life insurance pros and cons

Provides policies without a medical exam, making it easier to get life insuranceMore than the expected number of complaints for a company of its size
Sells policies for all ages: children, teens, adults and seniorsNo app available for consumers to manage their life insurance policy

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.

» 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. 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 life insurance 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.

Complaints about Gerber Life 

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: The best life insurance companies

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.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. 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.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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