Gerber Life Insurance Review

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Gerber Life Insurance Overview

The Gerber Life Insurance Company is owned and operated by the Gerber Products Company, which is well known for their baby food product line. Founded in 1967, Gerber Life offers life insurance products for children under the age of 18. The company is very well known due to their cross promoting with baby products, and they have a fairly aggressive marketing strategy that targets new parents.

In general, Gerber Life Insurance products are very expensive and just about anyone can get better coverage elsewhere. They have also wrapped some of their insurance products around the idea of saving for college, which most experts agree is a bad idea.

 
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Gerber Life Insurance Products

Gerber Life offers a number of different insurance related products, but their top three items are the Gerber Life College Plan, the Grow-Up Plan, and Term Life Insurance for adults.

Gerber Life College Plan – This plan covers the life of a parent while saving money for the child’s college expenses. The payout is issued when either the covered parent dies or the child reaches 18. There are guaranteed payouts of $10,000 to $150,000, depending on which plan is chosen.

The Gerber Life College Plan is very expensive in terms of insurance, and the payout is just about equal to what you put in. That means the actual interest earned on the money for college is very small. Most parents would do better by getting a term life insurance policy for themselves and investing the difference in something like a 529 college savings plan.

The Grow-Up Plan – This plan is a whole life insurance policy for children. Financial experts are quick to point out that whole life insurance products are pretty bad for the most part, and that is no exception here.

The Grow-Up Plan is very expensive and offers a low amount of coverage compared to a term life insurance policy. The difference is that the Grow-Up Plan will build cash value over time, but the rate is very low compared to other investment vehicles.

Term Life Insurance – This product is standard term insurance that Gerber Life offers to adults. Anyone can apply, and in most cases there are no medical exams prior to approval.

Gerber Life’s term coverage is good for someone finding it difficult to obtain life insurance, but the kicker is its expensive. At the time of this writing, a 30 year old, non-smoking male can get $150,000 coverage from Gerber Life for $36 a month. The same search on a life insurance brokerage website returned many companies offering the same coverage ranging from $9 to $14 a month.

Gerber Life Insurance Rates

As discussed prior, Gerber Life’s insurance products are very expensive compared to other companies out there. They do a good job of marketing to new parents and people who use their other products, and their trusted brand name goes a long way to getting new customers.

Gerber Life Consumer Complaints

Gerber Life Insurance Company is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but currently has an A+ rating with the organization. They have had 37 complaints filed in the past three years and 20 in the previous 12 months. The customer complaints filed with the BBB stem from two main categories, billing and problems with the product.

There were not a lot of complaints filed in the usual online consumer boards for Gerber Life. The number one complaint did not have anything to do with the product or service, but rather the amount of mail solicitations the company sends out.

Gerber Life Consumer Research Reports

In a guide titled Parent’s Guide to Every Kind of Insurance, Consumer Reports claims that insurance should not be purchased for children since the entire point of life insurance is to help cover dependents in the event of an unfortunate death. They specifically refer to the Gerber Life’s Grow-Up Plan when discussing children and life insurance saying, “Unless your child supports your family in some way (say, as a child actor), you can opt out.”

Gerber Life Financial Ratings

A.M. Best Rating – A

Fitch Rating – N/A

S & P Rating – BBB

Gerber Life Insurance Overall Rating

Gerber Life Insurance Company is a well-known brand with strong financial strength. They are a good choice for adults that want a basic level of term insurance without having to do an exam.

People who are cost-conscience or want to see reasonable market returns for their investments should seek coverage elsewhere. A term policy with a highly-rated company along with a college savings plan like a 529 will outperform anything Gerber Life offers almost every time.

Anyone interested in term life insurance should visit our Recommended Insurance Company page for more information about top companies to buy from.

Gerber Life Insurance Contact Information

Website
www.GerberLife.com

Phone Number
800-704-2180

Gerber Life Insurance Review1.875Eric Stauffer2013-01-04 05:23:01Gerber Life Insurance Overview
The Gerber Life Insurance Company is owned and operated by the Gerber Products Company, which is well known fo…

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About the Author

Eric Stauffer

I am a former insurance agent turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.


Comments

  1. Grace jones says

    I just want to find out what the statute of limitations is on receiving the money back if you pay on the insurance for 18 to 20 years and see if I can get any money back that I paid on both my girls. Its been a very long time and I’m not even sure when the policy ended, but if there is anything you can let me know, thank you. Grace Jones

    • Eric Stauffer says

      Hi Grace,

      Based on your question, what is sounds like is you had a whole life insurance policy for both of your daughters through Gerber Life. Now you are wondering if there is any cash available, even though the policies expired years ago.

      Let me start by saying if they were term life insurance policies, then the answer is no. There is no cash value attached to a term policy.

      That being said, a whole life insurance policy generally has a cash value which can be withdrawn or borrowed against at a later date. If this is the case, you will want to contact Gerber Life directly and get copies of your original insurance documents. These documents should outline how long you have to get any cash value out of the policies.

      Good luck.

      Eric Stauffer

  2. Darrin Jones says

    Hello Eric, I have been a customer of Gerber Life Insurance company for around 20 years and after an accident in 2007 I had to undergo 8 surgeries in 5 years to try and repair and finally had to amputate the right leg. Gerber Life denied my claim for dismemberment because I did not lose my leg in the initial accident. I feel very used that a company accepted my premiums for many years then tries its hardest not to pay you when your entitled to it. What is your opinion on this?

    • Eric Stauffer says

      Hi Darrin,

      Let me start by saying I am sorry to hear about what you have been through. I cannot pretend to imagine what that must have been and continues to be like. And adding insult to the injury, having to dealing with your insurance company after the fact. I am not an attorney, so I cannot give legal advice. But what I can give is my opinion based on the small amount of information you have given me.

      With a Gerber Life Insurance plan, there are probably going to be a few aspects to it.

      First is the cash value saved up so far. If it is 20 years old, I can’t imagine it being more than a couple thousand dollars, and that may be generous. But lets say for example purposes, that if you cashed it out today you could get $2,000.

      Second is the benefit amount they would pay if they approved the dismemberment claim. Again, I have no idea how much yours is, but lets say it is $10,000.

      Third, I would look at the difference (ignoring taxes for this simplified example) which equates to $8,000. The way I got to that number is simply subtracting $2k from the $10k. That would mean the maximum benefit you could get here is $8,000 more than simply cashing the policy out and taking the cash value.

      Now I would take a look at that number and try and figure out 1) if it is even worth it to fight over that amount, and 2) how could I fight it?

      I am spit-balling here, but here are a couple ideas if you wanted to take them to court:

      - Take them to small claims court yourself
      - Hire a lawyer
      - Find a lawyer willing to take your case on for free (pro bono)
      - Offer a lawyer a percentage of the settlement amount if you win

      Before any of that, however, I would probably pay an attorney a flat fee to look over my insurance plan to make sure there is even a chance I could win. Without looking at the policy, I have no way of knowing what clauses are in there that may be preventing a successful lawsuit.

      The bottom line is just because an insurance company denies your claim, doesn’t mean that is the final verdict. You might also want to start with their internal appeals department if they have one, and document everything in the process. If all else fails, you can cash out the policy if there is any cash value. (As long as you no longer need the life insurance coverage.)

      This advice should be used as a starting point for your research, and not a definitive answer. I do not know the details of your situation, so I must speak in generalities.

      I wish you the best,

      Eric

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