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ByMaggie Overholt Senior Insurance Editor

Maggie is the lead insurance writer and editor at Reviews.com. She's written more than 70 insurance articles covering homeowners, auto, life, motorcycle, travel, and more.

Gerber Life Insurance Review

Believe it or not, Gerber Life is the same company as the one with the adorable Gerber baby, and its insurance branch doesn’t stray far from the target audience. Gerber life insurance is geared toward families, with policy options for children starting at just 14 days old as well as policies for teens, adults, and seniors.

Gerber has an “excellent” financial strength rating from independent rating agency A.M. Best, meaning it has the capital to back all of its policies. It also has fewer than the median number of customer complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That means customers are generally satisfied with the company’s service and settlements.

Gerber is a good option for parents looking to buy child life insurance and for adults and seniors with minimal coverage needs — anyone who needs more than $300,000 in life insurance coverage (Gerber’s maximum limit) should choose another company. See our review of the best life insurance companies to explore other recommendations.

The Claim

Gerber claims to provide “quality life insurance, especially for young families on a limited budget.”

Is it true?

Generally, yes — although there’s no guarantee that Gerber will be your cheapest bet for life insurance. Prices can vary a lot across companies, so you’ll have to request quotes from multiple insurers to find out whether Gerber is truly the most affordable insurer for the coverage you need.

“You want good value so competitive pricing is important. Different companies have different prices, so shopping around and comparing quotes is a must.”

John Holloway Co-Founder and Licensed Life Insurance Agent at NoExam.com

Customers who choose Gerber have a variety of policy options. Gerber offers whole life insurance for children, adults, and seniors and adult-centric term life insurance that can last 10, 20, or 30 years. Coverage ranges from $5,000 to $300,000, depending on the policy type.

Gerber’s child life insurance has some unique perks. For example, coverage automatically doubles at age 18 and can last the child’s whole life. Children’s whole life coverage also accrues cash value that the insured can borrow from later in life if needed. These kinds of policies might be a good option for parents looking to set up a long-term financial plan for their children.

“Whole life policies build value over time with guaranteed rates, similar to a high-interest savings account,” says Mitch Mclean, Director of Brokerage at PolicyAdvisor.com. “You can surrender your whole life policy for its cash value at some point or take out a loan against it … However, doing so will incur taxes or interest charges, or both.”

Learn more about cash value whole life insurance here

Other benefits of buying life insurance through Gerber include ease and affordability. Most policies don’t require a medical exam, so customers can apply and receive coverage relatively quickly. And since Gerber only sells small- to mid-sized policies, its life insurance is going to be more affordable by default. (Remember that life insurance premiums depend on policy size, among other things.)

However, Gerber’s low death benefit limits will also take it out of the running for some life insurance customers. Coverage caps out at $300,000, so anyone looking for a large-sized policy (maybe because they have multiple beneficiaries, extensive financial planning needs, or other major life insurance considerations) might be better off with another insurer.

How much life insurance do I need?

The “right” amount of life insurance is different for everyone. Your death benefit should be large enough to take care of your dependents and help cover large financial obligations, like a mortgage, if you pass away. We recommend using a life insurance calculator to help determine your coverage needs. You can also get a quick estimate using this rule of thumb:

“Calculate your minimum life insurance need by taking your monthly take-home pay and doubling it, then add two zeros to the end. E.g., If you take home $3,000 per month, double to 6,000, and add two zeros, that equals $600,000 life insurance need,” says Cory J Nichols, CEO at Yes Life Financial. “This is considered an ‘income replacement’ amount because if you took $600,000 and invested it at 6%, you would collect $3,000 per month in interest, which would replace your income if you passed away.”

Product Overview

  • In business since: 1967
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A
  • Policy types: Whole life for children, adults, and seniors, term life for adults
  • Guaranteed level premiums
  • No medical exam for most customers
  • Online resource center and life insurance FAQ
  • Online quotes for term and whole life insurance

Features

  Grow-up plan Young adult plan Adult term life Adult whole life Guaranteed whole life for seniors
Coverage length
Whole life Whole life 10, 20, or 30 years Whole life Whole life
Coverage options
$5,000-$50,000 $5,000-$50,000 $100,000-$300,000 $50,000-$300,000 $5,000-$25,000
Age to sign up
14 days-14 years old 15-17 years old 18 years old and up 18-70 years old 50-80 years old
Medical exam requirements
No medical exam No medical exam Exam required for age 51-plus or $100,000-plus in coverage Exam required for age 51-plus or $100,000-plus in coverage No medical exam
Guaranteed level premiums
Cash value

Variety of child life insurance options

Not many companies specialize in child life insurance. Some offer one policy type, others offer it as an add-on to adult life insurance, and many don’t offer it at all. Gerber is unique in offering a few different child life insurance plans: one that can be purchased when the child is 14 days to 14 years old and one that starts between the ages of 15 and 17. These plans can help ensure that the child has life insurance at an affordable cost once they reach adulthood. They can also provide financial support for funeral expenses if the worst should ever happen.

Child life insurance becomes adult life insurance

With both of Gerber’s child life insurance plans (the “Grow-Up” plan and the Young Adult plan), coverage automatically doubles at age 18 at no extra cost. That means a $20,000 death benefit becomes a $40,000, for example. In addition, children can decide to keep the coverage active throughout adulthood “at standard adult rates,” regardless of changes in their health or occupation. This means parents can help set up a long-term financial plan for their child early on at an affordable rate.

Guaranteed level premiums for term and whole life

All of Gerber’s life insurance policies have “guaranteed level premiums,” meaning your monthly payment will never change; the amount you pay on the day your policy starts is the same amount you’ll pay in year 10, 30, or 50 (depending on how long coverage lasts). This guarantee offers Gerber customers a little extra peace of mind. Other companies might raise premiums over the course of the policy due to age or health, so customers could end up paying more for their coverage than they originally anticipated.

No medical exam for most customers

Gerber does not require most customers to take a physical exam to apply for life insurance. Instead, customers answer a few basic medical questions on their application that help the company determine their health level and set rates. This simplifies the application process, since customers don’t have to coordinate with a health professional or give blood and urine samples. Skipping the exam can also make it easier for people with health concerns to get coverage. Note: Adults age 51 and over or adults applying for more than $100,000 in coverage from Gerber will need to take a medical exam.

Possible drawbacks

Smaller policy sizes limit coverage options

Gerber’s coverage levels are fairly limited. Adult life insurance maxes out at $300,000, final expense insurance at $25,000, and child life insurance at $50,000. Some customers will need more coverage than Gerber offers, whether because their financial plan includes a large family, college tuition, complex estate planning, or other big monetary obligation. These customers will be better off with a life insurance company that has higher policy limits.

Explore coverage options from the best life insurance companies

The Competition

  Gerber Life Insurance Globe Life State Farm Protective Life Mutual of Omaha
Our review Our review
A.M. Best financial strength rating
A A+ A++ A+ A+
J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Life Insurance Study score
N/A N/A 5/5
"Among the best"
4/5
"Better than most"
4/5
"Better than most"
Customer complaints*
Fewer complaints than average More complaints than average Fewer complaints than average Fewer complaints than average Close to no complaints
Life insurance types offered
Term life
Whole life
Children's whole life
Guaranteed whole life for seniors
Term life
Whole life
Children's whole life
Term life
Whole life
Universal life
Term life
Whole life
Children's whole life
Universal life
Term life
Whole life
Universal life
Get a quote Get a quote Get a quote Get a quote Get a quote

*Customer complaints are registered by the NAIC and measured relative to the company's market share

Gerber Life Insurance vs. Globe Life Insurance

Gerber and Globe Life have pretty similar life insurance policy options, including term and whole life insurance for adults and whole life insurance for children. However, Gerber is a little more generous than Globe with coverage options. Its term and whole life insurance max out at $300,000 worth of coverage, while Globe only offers up to $100,000 in term life and $50,000 in whole life. Neither company is rated for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power, but Globe has a far higher complaint ratio with the NAIC than Gerber. That means more customers and beneficiaries have filed official complaints against Globe than Gerber.

Gerber Life Insurance vs. State Farm Life Insurance

If you need more life insurance coverage than Gerber offers, State Farm is a good place to start your search. State Farm has earned the highest satisfaction score in J.D. Power’s life insurance customer survey five years running thanks to its fair pricing, diverse policy options, and good customer service. State Farm does not offer child life insurance, and its final expense option is smaller than Gerber's ($10,000 compared to $25,000), so Gerber might be a better option for customers who need these types of coverage.

Gerber Life Insurance vs. Protective Life Insurance

If your first priority when buying life insurance is affordability, we’d suggest getting a quote from Protective Life to compare with your Gerber quote. Protective proved to be one of the best companies for cheap life insurance in our own quote comparison, giving consistently affordable rates. It also has a full array of policy options, including term, whole, universal, and child life insurance, and it earns top customer service scores in J.D. Power’s life insurance satisfaction survey.

Gerber Life Insurance vs Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha is a great option for senior life insurance. While Gerber’s senior life insurance is geared toward final expenses (capping out at $25,000 worth of coverage), Mutual of Omaha provides seniors with a more robust financial plan. Coverage starts at $50,000 and has no maximum limit, meaning seniors can choose a policy that will provide for more complex financial planning needs or estate management in their absence. That said, because of these higher limits, senior life insurance from Mutual of Omaha is generally more expensive than that from Gerber.

Gerber Life Insurance FAQ

Is Gerber life insurance term or whole?

Most of Gerber’s life insurance policies for children and adults are whole life insurance. That means coverage lasts the insured’s whole life and is guaranteed to pay out so long as premiums are paid in full throughout the policy. Gerber offers one term life option for adults, which lasts for 10, 20, or 30 years, depending on the policyholder’s coverage needs. Term life insurance only pays out if the insured person passes away during the covered term.

Does Gerber have life insurance for adults?

Gerber offers term life insurance for adults age 18 and up and whole life insurance for adults age 18 to 70. Gerber’s adult life insurance comes in coverage amounts from $50,000 to $100,000. Adults can get online quotes for both term and whole life insurance on Gerber’s website.

Does Gerber have life insurance for seniors?

Gerber offers guaranteed whole life insurance for seniors age 50 to 80. There’s no medical exam required for Gerber’s senior life insurance, and coverage is guaranteed regardless of the insured’s health history. Coverage amounts range from $5,000 to $25,000 and can help cover final expenses or unpaid debts. Seniors can get a life insurance quote on Gerber’s website.

Does Gerber life insurance have cash value?

Most of Gerber’s life insurance plans are whole life insurance, which means they include a cash value component. The cash value account on a whole life policy is built up through premium payments and grows over time with interest, giving the insured person an extra financial safety net to fall back on. It’s also part of the reason whole life policies are more expensive than term — since part of each premium you pay goes toward the cash account.

To learn more, read our article on how to use the cash value on your whole life insurance policy.

When does Gerber life insurance double?

Gerber’s child life insurance policies (the “Grow-Up” and Young Adult plans) automatically double in coverage when the insured child turns 18. That means $20,000 of coverage automatically becomes $40,000 worth of coverage when the child becomes an adult. This coverage increase does not raise premiums, according to Gerber’s website.

The Bottom Line

Gerber Life Insurance is a good place to start if you’re looking for flexible child life insurance or a moderately sized adult life insurance policy. If you need life insurance coverage greater than $300,000, Gerber isn’t the company for you. Take a look at our review of the best life insurance companies to explore some other good options.

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