Gerber life insurance
- Well known for its Gerber Life Grow-Up plans, which provide life insurance on children.
- Offers term and whole life for people who need small amounts of coverage.
- Whole life available for seniors age 50 to 80 with no medical exam required.
Gerber is best known for its life insurance policies for children, but the company also sells small term and whole life insurance products 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 of the purchase. Your money may be better put elsewhere, such as a college savings plan.
A.M. Best financial strength rating: A (excellent)
Gerber’s financial strength is “excellent,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best.
Financial strength is important because it indicates how well an insurer can pay claims. It’s especially important when choosing a life insurance company because claims might not be made until many decades after a policy is purchased.
Consumer complaints: Better than the median
Gerber drew fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2015 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 2015 was .55.
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Gerber life insurance coverage options
Gerber’s offerings for children and adults include:
- The Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan is a whole life 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.
- 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. A 25-year-old healthy woman could buy an 18-year policy paying out $10,000 at maturity for about $432 a year.
- Gerber’s term and whole life policies for adults are available in amounts of $25,000 to $150,000. The company says premiums for a 20-year, $25,000 term life policy would start at about $96 a year for a 25-year-old healthy woman. Quotes for a whole life policy are not available online.
- The guaranteed life insurance plan is a whole life policy for seniors between ages 50 and 80. Policy amounts range from $5,000 to $20,000. The policy is designed to cover funeral and other final expenses. You cannot be rejected and there are no medical exams or health questions for the application.
Updated Jan. 3, 2017