Gerber Life Insurance Review
Life insurance for your children may not be the first thing on your mind, but with Gerber Life, you can also put money aside for their future.
Although Gerber Life is most well-known for insuring children, they also have insurance policies for adults, which makes it easy to get life insurance for your entire family from one provider.
In this review, I’ll go over your options at Gerber Life and help you see if it’s worth it for you.
About The Company
Gerber Life Insurance doesn’t have an affiliation with the Gerber baby food brand.
Instead, it’s owned by a financial group (Western & Southern Financial Group) that licenses the Gerber trademark.
Western & Southern, through Gerber Life, has policies that insure adults, seniors, and children. Today, the company has over $50 billion worth of life insurance in force.
The Grow-Up Plan
The Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan is a policy for parents who want to get insurance for their young child (between the ages of 14 days and 14 years old).
Locking in low rates now, while they are young, will ensure they have affordable life insurance as they become adults.
The Gerber Life Grow-Up plan also has a cash value. You or your child can use this in a few ways.
If there are unforeseen circumstances (such as death), you have the money and insurance coverage available.
Even outside of terrible circumstances, your child may use the cash value for college, a wedding, or other large expenses.
When your child becomes an adult
Once your child turns 21-years old, he or she can add more coverage, as long as the premiums are paid until that point. They won’t need to go through underwriting or a medical exam.
The policy’s death benefit doubles when your child turns 18-years old. So, for example, if you took out a policy for $20,000, it would be worth $40,000 on your child’s 18th birthday.
Does your child need life insurance?
This is a question with multiple answers.
Could your child benefit from life insurance? All kids could benefit in some manner, especially with a whole life policy that accumulates a cash benefit.
Typically, though, life insurance benefits your child’s beneficiaries – such as his or her spouse and children.
So while you’re setting your child up for potentially low-cost life insurance, it’s really protection for his or her future family.
How the Grow-Up Plan works
When you get the Gerber Grow-Up plan for your child, you select the coverage and pay the premiums. The younger your child is, the less the premiums cost.
As long as you continue paying the premiums, your child has coverage and those premiums never increase, even in adulthood. At 18, the coverage automatically doubles, again with the same premium.
The only time the premium may change is if your child adds coverage once he owns the policy (after age 21). If he or she does so, your child will pay the standard adult rates at that time.
The Gerber Grow-Up Plan has a death benefit (if your child dies, the beneficiaries receive this amount) and the cash value that has accumulated.
The longer you have the policy, the more cash value the policy accumulates. If you or your child borrows from the policy, you must repay it with 8% interest.
What ages are eligible?
The Gerber Life Grow-Up plan is available for newborn babies older than 14 days to pre-teens as old as 14.
Gerber Life also offers a Young Adult Plan for children ages 15 – 17.
The benefits of the policy are the same. The difference is in the premiums. Just like adults, the older you are when you buy life insurance, the more the premiums cost.
Just like an adult’s whole life insurance policy, the Gerber Grow-Up Plan accumulates a cash value. However, it does so at a much slower rate.
Each payment you make covers the death benefit, with a small portion of the payment going into the policy’s cash value.
The longer you keep the policy, the more the cash value grows. Once the policy has a significant cash value, you can use it in one of three ways:
- Cash the policy in
- Take a loan against the balance
- Use the balance to pay the policy premiums
You are the policy owner of the cash value until your child turns 21-years old.
Either of you (you before your child turns 21 and your child after they turn 21) can cash in on the policy as the policy owner.
- Gerber Life has top ratings from AM Best and S&P.
- You can get affordable life insurance rates locked in while your child is young.
- It provides an affordable policy for your children as they become adults.
- It grows a cash value that you can use for large expenses.
- The premiums never change (unless your child adds to the coverage as an adult).
- It provides your child with access to life insurance even if they become ill.
- The savings are minimal. It takes as long as 25 years to exceed the amount you paid in premiums.
- A child rider on your existing whole life policy may cost less.
- You can only get coverage up to $50,000.
The Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan offers coverage in increments of $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $25,000, $35,000 and $50,000.
The chosen coverage would last until your child is 18-years old. At that point, the policy doubles.
For example, if you took out a policy for $15,000, your child would have $30,000 in coverage going into adulthood.
Each coverage amount doubles, so the maximum coverage your child could have going into adulthood is $100,000.
Costs & Premiums
Just like premiums for adult whole life insurance, the premiums depend on your child’s age.
The younger your child is when you secure coverage, the lower the premiums.
For example, if you secure coverage for your baby boy or girl before their 1st birthday, the average monthly premiums cost:
- $5,000 – $3.27
- $10,000 – $6.53
- $15,000 – $9.80
- $25,000 – $15.70
- $35,000 – $21.98
- $50,000 – $31.40
Now, if you wait until your child is 10-years old, the average monthly premiums cost:
- $5,000 – $4.53
- $10,000 – $9.05
- $15,000 – $13.58
- $25,000 – $21.76
- $35,000 – $30.46
- $50,000 – $43.50
You can see why it pays to secure life insurance early in your child’s life.
If you waited until your child was 10-years old and took out a $50,000 policy, it costs $145.20 extra per year, which over 18 years, costs an extra $2,613.
You could probably think of many other things to do with that $2,600, including helping with your child’s college education costs.
Life College Plan
Gerber Life also has a College Plan. This isn’t your traditional 529 Savings Plan, instead, it’s an endowment life insurance policy.
The policy earns a guaranteed cash value over the life of the term and the premiums remain level.
What’s different is that it only lasts for a specified number of years.
If you pass before the policy expires, your named beneficiaries receive the benefits, like they would with a traditional life insurance policy.
If you don’t, the cash value keeps growing until the end of the term, at which time you get the face value of the policy to use as you need.
How it Works
Rather than choosing the amount of coverage you want, you choose your monthly payment and the length of the term.
Let’s say, for example, your child is 2-years old, you want coverage for 16 years and you’re willing to pay $430 per month.
Your policy would accumulate a cash value of $101,000 at the end of 16 years.
Remember, that’s after paying $82,560 over the life of the policy. You turned your $82,560 into $101,000 (minus taxes).
The coverage amount varies based on your monthly payments. The Life College Plan accumulates a cash value to help you pay for college costs or other costs to help your child start their life.
If you pass before your policy expires, your child as the beneficiary will receive the full payout, regardless of how much you’ve paid into the policy.
The maximum amount of coverage available is $140,000, although that’s reserved for parents who secure the policy before their child turns 9-years old and maxes out the monthly payment ($436.34) for 20 years.
Premiums & Costs
Premiums start as low as $35 per month, but only for those that choose a longer-term.
If you choose the lowest term (10 years), the lowest premium starts at $72 per month and amounts to $10,000 after 10 years.
The premiums stay fairly level until your child hits 9 years old (halfway to 18), at which point the premiums increase and the guaranteed return decreases.
Gerber Life for Adults
Gerber Life also offers a few policies for adults which include term, whole life, guaranteed issue, accidental death, and dismemberment insurance.
Some policies don’t require a medical exam, but they have limitations, just like any simplified or guaranteed issue insurance has.
Term Life Insurance
Gerber Life offers term life insurance from $100,000 to $300,000 with level premiums for the entire term.
You apply for life insurance online and often get a response within minutes (if you don’t need a medical exam).
If you’re under 51-years old, and/or don’t take out a policy for more than $100,000, you don’t need a medical exam. Gerber Life offers terms of 10, 20, or 30 years.
Whole Life Insurance
Gerber Life offers whole life insurance that lasts for your entire life. The premiums remain locked for the life of the policy and your policy remains in force as long as you pay the premiums.
Like term life insurance, you don’t need a medical exam if you’re younger than 51-years old and/or choose coverage of $100,000 or less.
Adults aged 18 to 70 are eligible and you can secure coverage between $50,000 to $300,000.
Like the Grow-Up Plan, Gerber’s whole life insurance accrues a cash value that you can borrow against and/or cash out if you no longer want the policy.
Guaranteed Issue Insurance
Guaranteed Issue life insurance is for seniors ages 50 to 80 looking for help with final expenses. No one regardless of coverage amount or age needs to go through a medical exam.
They offer plans from $5,000 to $25,000, which is why it’s called a final expense policy, as it covers the traditional cost of the funeral, burial, and final medical expenses.
Like the whole life policy, Guaranteed Issue insurance accumulates a cash value that you can borrow from if needed.
Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance
Gerber Life helps protect you financially from accidents with its Accident Protection Insurance.
It helps you financially for accidental death or covered disability and offers coverage from $20,000 to $100,000.
There’s no waiting period and you and your spouse can have coverage of up to $200,000 combined if you are between the ages of 19 and 69.
There’s no medical exam required or health questions to answer. Your premiums also never increase.
What Customers Are Saying
Most customers appreciate Gerber’s simple application process and limited questions. They also like Gerber’s low-cost premiums and extensive coverage options.
Many customers, however, don’t care for the limited customer service hours, but state that Gerber offers quality customer care when they finally get through.
Should You Choose Gerber?
Like any insurance policy, make sure you look at your options.
The child life insurance policies are unique and offer a decent benefit, but you may also consider a child rider on your existing policy.
While the cash value accumulation on any of the policies won’t make you rich or pay for your child’s entire college education, it’s a forced way to save for your child’s future (if you need that).
Gerber Life offers low coverage options with fixed premiums, and more often than not without a medical exam.
If you won’t qualify for other insurance policies or you want a simple policy that you can get online with little hassle, the Gerber Life insurance policy may be a suitable option.
However, it’s worth comparing the premiums and policies from at least three other companies just to be sure.