Gerber Life Insurance Review

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Gerber Life banks on two things to sell their insurance policies – a well-known trusted name and a cute baby. <ahref=””>Life insurance and college savings products sold by a company that manufactures baby food may sound disconnected. However, Gerber’s Grow-Up Plan – their best known product – is a popular choice for parents who have already gained trust in the brand. In addition, their College Life plan may appeal to those looking to secure money for college without risky investments.

How well the Gerber Grow-Up Plan and College Plan live up to their promises are a big part of the overall picture, but there are also a few other insurance products from Gerber worth looking into. Additionally, we will look at Gerber Life’s reputation as an insurance company, and what kind of value their products offer in the long run.

Gerber Life Overview

Gerber is one of the best-known companies in America, with a wholesome image that dates back to 1927. Daniel Frank Gerber, who owned a canning company, founded Gerber in Fremont, Michigan when he started marketing his wife’s homemade baby food. Within a year, the company’s products were being sold nationwide and eventually around the world. Today, Gerber has a majority hold on the baby food market in the United States.

Gerber Life Insurance Company was created as a subsidiary of Gerber Products Company in 1967. The company was created for direct-marketing life insurance sales to parents, providing life insurance policies for children and adults alike. Gerber Life Insurance operates independently from the baby food side of the company. However, the entire Gerber company, including Gerber Life, was acquired by Nestle in 2007 in a multi-billion dollar deal, making it part of an enormous powerhouse in the food industry.

Gerber Life writes insurance through all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Their Grow-Up Plan and College Life plans are their best-known products. The College Life plan is advertised with a promise to help parents save for college with a low-risk method. This promise has made Gerber Life one of the biggest direct-marketing life insurance companies in the U.S.

Not only the Grow-Up plan, but all of Gerber’s life insurance products are marketed as providing for the financial future of children. The products were created for parents who are concerned about the high cost of college, as well as providing for their children in the event of their deaths. While many other companies sell juvenile life insurance, Gerber is probably the most recognizable brand for the product.

Gerber Life’s headquarters remain in Fremont, Michigan, with an additional headquarters for the Canadian division in Toronto, Ontario.

Policies are sold directly, so there is no agent as a middleman. Online quoting and applications are available through a simple and straightforward system.

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Gerber’s life insurance products are available not just for children, but for adults as well. Their juvenile products are definitely the company’s bread and butter, with their Grow-Up Plan probably being the best-known juvenile life insurance option on the market. Gerber also has a toe in the health insurance market with an accident insurance plan.

Grow-Up Plan

Gerber’s flagship plan, this is a whole life insurance plan designed to allow parents to purchase life insurance for a child with lifelong coverage at the same low premium.

Because children can obtain coverage easily and at very low rates, the Grow-Up Plan ensures the child will have coverage into adulthood without the higher premiums. It also ensures coverage even if the child is later diagnosed with a condition that might make getting life insurance difficult.

The Grow-Up Plan can be purchased for children between 14 days and 14 years old. At 18 years old, the coverage automatically doubles (if you had a $30,000 policy, it will now be a $60,000 policy) with no premium increase, and at 21 the child takes over the policy, which continues for as long as the premiums are being paid. There’s also an option to increase the coverage at this point, although coverage increases do mean paying higher premiums, as they will be charged at standard rates.

The Grow-Up Plan also comes with a cash accumulation account that allows extra benefits to grow over time. It is designed to eventually equal the amount paid in premiums, and can be borrowed against.

Coverage is available from $5,000 to $50,000, which means that when the policy doubles at 18, the maximum coverage under the original policy would be $100,000.

Gerber Life College Plan

Known as an endowment life policy, the Gerber College plan is a life insurance policy that doubles as a college savings fund – or really as a savings fund for anything, since there’s no requirement that it be used for college. This policy is marketed as the only college savings plan that also provides life insurance, and it’s pretty unique in the insurance industry.

The plan allows parents to choose a monthly premium amount, which won’t increase over time, and to select a maturity date for the policy, which can be between 10 and 20 years.

The plan will pay out either at the maturity date or upon the death of the policyholder, making it something of a term policy with a guaranteed payout. Gerber promises a payout of between $10,000 and $150,000, as long as premiums are paid. The amount of the payout depends on how much the parent decides to pay each month. Gerber states that the premiums will be invested carefully with low risk, this allows them to guarantee the policy payout.

Although this plan is advertised as a college savings plan, it doesn’t have the tax benefits that come with a plan like a 529. The payout from the plan will be taxed, and premiums are not tax-deductible. As a result, parents will lose some of the policy payout to taxes.

Since the policy pays out on the death of the policyholder, it also doubles as an adult life insurance plan that can help provide some security for the child in the event of a parent (or whoever started the policy) passing away.

The plan’s appeal is obvious; simple, low-cost, and low-risk. All of which are likely to seem attractive to many parents. However, most financial experts don’t recommend this policy as a solid college savings choice, and the internet is full of articles explaining why, such as this one from Business Insider. These articles tend to point to the issue mentioned above – the lack of tax protection for the money, along with some other issues that make a regular college savings plan and separate life insurance plan generally a better value.


Term Life

Gerber offers term life insurance for adults that functions much the same as most term policies. The coverage is in place for a certain period of time, and then the policy expires.

One option on the Gerber term life policy is what is often known as a “simple” policy; it requires no medical exams and is easy to get for customers aged 18-50. With this option, the maximum coverage is $100,000, which is close to the overall product maximum of $150,000.

Terms are available from 10 to 30 years, and Gerber guarantees the premium for the duration of the policy.

Whole Life

Gerber’s whole life plan is a basic permanent life insurance product that provides lifelong coverage at a locked-in rate. The plan also includes a cash accumulation account that can be used to obtain a loan if needed.

Like the term plan, Gerber offers a simple version of the whole life policy that provides coverage up to $100,000 with no medical exam (for those who fit the same age parameters.) Again, the top limit of coverage is a total of $150,000.

Guaranteed Life Insurance Plan

This is a whole life plan that is aimed at people aged 50-80. This product can be thought of as a final expenses plan – the coverage offered is from $5000 to $20,000, and was developed to help loved ones pay for funeral and other expenses.

This plan is guaranteed in that those who fit the age group will be approved for the coverage without a medical exam, and regardless of health status. As a whole life plan, coverage lasts until the policyholder’s death, and it also includes a cash value accumulation account.

Accident Protection

Gerber’s Accidental Death policy provides benefits for accidents resulting in disability or death.

The plan provides coverage from $20,000 up to $100,000. There is no medical exam and no health questions for applicants between the ages of 19 and 69; Gerber guarantees approval.

Gerber Grow-Up: A Closer Look at Juvenile Life

Since the Gerber Grow-Up Plan, which is a juvenile life insurance policy, is one of the most popular products sold by Gerber, and since juvenile life is often misunderstood – it’s worth taking a closer look at how they work, what value they offer, and how Gerber’s policies stack up.

A juvenile life insurance policy is simply a whole life insurance policy that insures the child, but is paid for and owned by the person who took it out – usually a parent or guardian – until the age of 21. Once the child is of age, they become the policy owner, and policy stays in force as long as they pay the premiums. Whether the now-adult child pays or the parent continues to pay is up to the individual.

The main benefits of a juvenile life insurance product are a locked-in premium and the certainty of coverage for as long as the premiums are paid, regardless of changes in health status.

The Gerber plan adds an additional benefit, which states that the policy amount will double when the child turns 18, so that the insured is now paying the same amount for twice the coverage. We’ll take a look at how that works out premium-wise in the next section.

There is also a cash accumulation account, which can be borrowed against – with interest – if needed. Gerber promises that after 25 years, the cash value of the policy will be equal to or greater than the total amount of premiums paid over that timeframe.

There are a couple of things to consider before you buy a policy like Gerber Grow-Up.

If the child decides upon adulthood to pay the premiums, but wants additional coverage, they’ll pay for it at standard rates. Even then, Gerber only offers a maximum of $150,000, which won’t be enough as the now-grown-child begins to add dependents and assets over time.

In addition, life insurance is generally intended to cover things like lost income and debts when the insured passes away. Those things aren’t necessary upon the death of a child. Certainly the insurance payout can help to pay for final expenses and allow the family some time to grieve by covering lost wages. However, there are other ways to get that kind of coverage – such as a rider on a family life insurance policy – this option will cost less and provide more coverage overall. In general, juvenile life might not be the best use of your life insurance dollar.

Prices and Premiums

Gerber Life’s maximum coverage for a term life policy is $150,000, which is lower than our usual test rate policy.

Geber does provide instant quoting; all you have to do is enter your state and a few basics, and you’ll be given a list of premium amounts for various coverage amounts.

For example: In California, a 30-year-old non-smoker can get $150,000 worth of coverage on a 30-year term plan for $37.64/month.

A whole life policy for the same person would cost $130.50 per month.

These premiums are not terribly expensive on a monthly basis, but they provide significantly less coverage amounts compared to other policies with similar premiums (especially the term policy).

Since Gerber really pushes juvenile life insurance, we ran a quote on the Grow-Up Plan as well. For a 5-year-old boy at the maximum coverage level of $50,000, the monthly rate is $39.36. That coverage doubles to $100,000 at the age of 18 with no increase in premium.

A $100,000 whole life plan from Gerber for an 18-year-old male is quoted at $70 a month. Taking a look at these numbers, the Gerber Grow-Up Plan seems to offer an ok value in terms of whole life, giving the same amount of coverage for an 18-year-old male for half the price, and locking that price in for the rest of his life.

Interesting about these numbers is that for 13 years, the parents would have been paying $39.36 for only half that coverage – $50,000. Which works out to about the same price as the adult whole life prices at the age of 18 – when a $50,000 policy can be had for $37/month. What that means is that up until the doubling in value, the Grow-Up Plan rates are really about the same as an 18-year-old adults rates. It’s once the benefit doubles that the policy shows value.

That said, a rider on an adult policy to cover children would generally still cost less than this policy.


Geber does not have an online claims form, but this isn’t surprising for a life insurance company. There are two options for reporting claims:

  • 1-800-628-0560 – Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m ET. Monday through Friday an 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Saturdays
  • Direct Mail:

Gerber Life Insurance Company
Claims Processing Unit
445 State Street
Fremont, MI 49412

Health Insurance claims can be filed through a different phone number at 1-866-846-9993. This office is only open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

They can also be filed by mail at:

Gerber Life Insurance Company
Administrator’s Office
P.O. Box 25326
Overland Park, KS 66225-5326

Claims processing time varies, again not surprising for a life insurance company; life and health claims require different procedures and processes than auto or home claims.

This type of claim generally requires forms and other documentation, which can take a while to have processed. Gerber does promise to make the claims process as smooth as possible, and since life insurance claims are never filed under pleasant circumstances, that’s something any insurer should provide.

As to whether or not Gerber lives up to the promise, that’s something we will look at in the next section, when we take a look at the company’s reputation and reviews.

Company Ratings and Reviews

Gerber Life Insurance is not BBB accredited, but they do have an A+ rating.

There have been 69 complaints against the company in the past three years, with 30 of those – almost half – closed in the past 12 months.

Normally insurance companies focusing on life insurance don’t get as many complaints as auto and home insurance companies, so it raises a bit of concern to see more than a few.

There are a few other reviews of Gerber Life around the various review sites, but even fewer that offer any real information.

Beyond that, there are a few typical insurance company complaints, but they are so few that it’s hard to see any real cause for concern.

Bottom Line

Gerber Life has a strong reputation with many years of life insurance experience. They offer a very simple way to get life insurance, with many options that don’t require a medical exam and fast approval. That makes their products appealing to many people. Their products, however, are lacking in a few areas.

First of all, their popular Grow-Up and College plans are of dubious value, and there are other solutions that are both a better investment and a better use of your insurance dollar. Gerber’s plans do have their merits, but those merits struggle to balance the scales in terms of value.

Gerber’s main life insurance plans max out at $150,000, which for many people won’t even come close to covering their life insurance needs. That amount is lowered to $100,000 if you want approval without a medical exam. In return for those benefits, the premiums are reasonable, but not so low as to make the policy an irresistible deal. Most people will be able to get a larger amount of coverage elsewhere and still pay a really reasonable rate. Particularly, when it comes to term life insurance – where most people aim for a higher death benefit to cover the shorter-term financial needs during a child’s youth.

Overall, Gerber’s products are limited and don’t bring enough value to make them a top choice for life insurance. Most life insurance customers will get more for their money and a bigger range of options elsewhere.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Eric Stauffer
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  1. Brandon says

    The college plan is not worth the money. I was told initially that if I were to cancel throughout there would be a small fee, which is understandable, but if I wanted to invest elsewhere I could. When I canceled i received back not even 40% of what I payed into it because according to the customer service rep “It was a commitment and by canceling I didn’t hold up my end” tell that to the sales people then! I was never explained this and am furious that my daughter has lost all that money because of some stupid company. Grade for Gerber: F

  2. Margaret Anne says

    I have kept a Grow Up plan for my twins since they were 4 years old, they are 19 now. I called Gerber a couple of years ago while in financial straits (like so many other people) and considered cancelling the policy. I was told by a Gerber Customer Service Rep that if I just hung in there and kept the policy up until they turned 25, that they could cash it out at that time and they would get the full amount of every premium I’d paid in. I thought this would be a great way to help pay down any college loans so I’ve kept it up. I’m getting the feeling that that is not going to happen based on all the complaints here. Can I expect to get anything out of it if I just cash it in now? It’s not a huge amount of money but I’ve paid in approximately $2,500 over the last 15 years. Any idea how much I may be able to get out of it?
    Thank you for any help you may be able to provide!

    • Eric Stauffer says

      Hi Margaret Anne,

      That is really going to depend on what your policy documents say. I would recommend going back through your docs (ask them for a copy if you lost them), and seeing what it says specifically.

      If this is how the policy was written up 15 years ago, then I wouldn’t be too worried about them not paying. If this is not mentioned in the policy, then I would be a little more skeptical.

      Eric Stauffer

  3. Tracy Baker says

    My son wanted the cash value from his policy. He is 21 yrs old. When he called, the representative said that I would need to call, then I called and said my son wanted the cash value. He said for me to send a letter. I did that and nothing. When I called back, they told me, my son would have to call.
    We have been getting the run around since November 2014. He did get a Gerber bag a few weeks ago, but wants his money.

  4. bill fulkinson says

    I have had this term life ins. for two years now. I wanted to borrow off my interest which was 190.00 my term payment to date is 800.00, I also have other ins as well like accident insurance for 50,000 and college for my grandson who was just born. Well things are tight and my daughter fell on hard times. 190.00 was all I could get.The problem is I never received it. Its been a month late now and they keep saying it was mailed out a week ago. I confirmed the address. Can I get back my money and i’ll save it myself??

  5. gary goll says

    My mom and I have been trying to cash my policy. We waited for the check. Mom called them and said it was denied. So mom called the lady and talked to both of us. She said she was sending the paper work she never did she just sent a letter to my mom and 1 to me. Not what I wanted. I want to surrender my policy today and want the money before Christmas….not happy with you at all.

  6. Dorothy Wiley says

    I have had this claim going on for 6 months. Back in FEB 2014 my daughter was married a little over a month before she was shot. I have had this insurance for almost 2 years on all of my children just in this case such tragedy happens. She lost her limb and has has been qualified as 100% disable and has been signed off from the doctor as 100% disable. Gerber wanted me to provide information that she was my dependent.

    Well, I pulled back statements, provided car insurance that was clearly in her name but paid with my debit card to to make the payments. I also provided receipts of where and from whom I have brought bedroom and living room suits for HER and HER CHILD for HER a place to live. Before she could move out her home she was still living with me b/c there was a lot that needed to be done to the home that she was trying to remodel. Such as getting lights cut on paid by me, painting the walls paid by me. Records also shows she clearly has not been working and had no steady income for the year of 2013 – 2014.

    Unfortunately, on the night of working to clean and paint her new home which she has not moved in there were guns shots sprayed throughout her home and she her arm was blown off. We don’t know why and who shot up her soon to be home March 2014. Currently we still have no suspects or leads. We don’t know the current situation of the home or who stayed there prior to the accident. I brought her a car while living in my home which was clearly in my name time of purchase and changed title little before the finding of her soon to be residency. I have brought her clothes, have receipts of buying baby pampers and baby clothes. She has doctors bills that will never probably be paid. At least the money should be provided for that and pain and suffering. She is currently now living back in my home b/c who wants to stay in house that has been left in such critical condition. Not only that, I had to get rid and sell the furniture I had paid for b/c she was experiencing nightmares and did not want anything that came from the house.

    I was soon to find out this past Monday I was denied and reason showing was because she was married and I did not have enough proof she was my dependent. I did not claim her on my taxes for the year of 2014 b/c she claimed herself and her own child. She did get a child care credit and Head of House hold credit b/c at a point in 2012-2013 she had her own residency. Therefore, I was not able to show proof by taxes and even if so for 2013 she filed her own taxes again but just could not claim head of household b/c I claimed head of household in my own home. Her husband was incarcerated for the 2013-2014. They got married 1 month a few days prior to the shooting in prison. I also, provided proof he was in Prison. How can someone take care of someone else in prison? Now I agree I did not call to report the change but if I did what happens next? You drop me? What’s does this marriage/policy have to do with him? I have insurance on her and have had insurance on her way before she was married. And to top it all off he was in jail before and after marriage. I don’t understand What the marriage has to do with anything nor do I understand why am I reimbursed my money from the day of the marriage certificate if that’s the case. Therefore, You can just take my money and not provide the service.

    I will get a lawyer and fight this just to make them look like the [Redacted] they are. I have literally went in debt borrowing loans, staying in hotels b/c we did not know if these criminals were coming to my home right now til this day. I borrowed from 401k and almost maxed it out. Her and her husband is at my home again with no where to go. This money that should be mine $30,000 is only here to take me out of debt and give this child of mine another chance. Life gave her another chance. Now she is having to start from scratch. I don’t understand insurance. Big old scam is what is it. I will not benefit from this. This amount won’t even pay the doctors expenses.I really feel this is a scam waiting to happen for anyone in the near future!!!!! If anyone out there knows of a good lawyer, please share. GOD bless!

  7. Christy says

    I need help trying to lol for insurance for both myself (32)and my daughter (7) and I liked into gerber whole life for my daughter and as looking into whole life for myself. One of the things that came to my attention was what’s the difference with me getting term life and getting a savings for my daughter than getting whole life that builds cash value ? Also which one would be better term life or whole life not just with gerber but any insurance company. I know term is cheaper. But I need help on deciding please.

    • Eric Stauffer says

      Hello Christy,

      I can only speak in generalities, as I do not know your personal financial situation.

      Personally, I think in most cases that whole life insurance is a rip-off. The cash value it accrues over time is a joke compared to saving the money yourself.

      For the vast majority of situations, you can earn a lot more if you save yourself. You can read more about it in my write-up called Why Term is Better Than Whole Life Insurance.

      Eric Stauffer

  8. 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

  9. 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,


      • Jocelyn Campbell says


        I know I am late on sending my thoughts on this, but the consumer could also file a complaint with the state’s department of insurance or department of consumer affairs. The department of insurance for California has various agencies and bureaus that look into consumer complaints for potential wrongful denials of claims.

        Good luck

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