Company Overview: Insurance Sales & Financial Ratings
The Gerber Products Company, which got its start in 1927, founded Gerber Life in 1967.
Keith M. O’Reilly is the current President and CEO of Gerber Life Insurance Company.
Dan and Dorothy Gerber owned a canning business in Fremont, Michigan. When their then 7-month-old daughter Sally began eating solid foods, Dorothy would busy herself straining them to make it easier for her to eat.
Once Dorothy completed the process many times, Dan realized it was easy enough to replicate in the plant. When workers started asking for samples to feed their own babies, the Gerber baby foods legacy began.
The Gerber family’s commitment to children and families led them to create a budget-friendly solution for life insurance.
As of December 2021, Gerber Life has over $62 billion of in-force life insurance products. Gerber Life is now a member of Western & Southern Financial Group Inc.
Superior Growth in 2021
Fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans' continued need for financial security spearheaded massive sales for life insurers. Gerber Life is no exception.
In 2021 alone, Gerber Life saw:
- 276,000 new customers
- $3 billion in new, in-force life insurance
- 48,000 new issued life insurance policies
- A sales growth of 15% over 2020, to the tune of $33.9 million
According to the Western & Southern 2021 Annual Report, independent agencies like Life Insurance Shopping Reviews drove 75% of new sales for the year.
Stable Financial Strength
Gerber Life has a long history of stable financial strength scores with A.M. Best. The company has an A rating, which is Excellent, by A.M. Best standards.
This rating is common for life insurers and shows that the company has the assets available to meet their insurance obligations. For the consumer, that means if they have to file a large life insurance claim, Gerber can pay out quickly and easily.
Parent company Western & Southern has an A rating with A.M. Best to match Gerber Life. The life insurance group also has an AA- financial strength outlook with Standard & Poor’s, upholding its strong ability to pay claims when needed.
State Availability & Licensing
Gerber Life is headquartered in White Plains, NY, with an operation center located in Fremont, Michigan (where Gerber Products Company began).
It is licensed to sell life insurance in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. However, Gerber Life doesn’t currently offer term or whole life insurance in New York.
You can also buy life insurance on the Gerber Life website or by calling Gerber Life directly.
By and large, Gerber Life is sold through independent agencies contracted with the life insurer.
One of the best reasons to work with an independent broker is the ability to get multiple quotes at the same time. You provide basic information and the agency gathers quotes from several carriers for the coverage you need and type of policy that works best for you.
Working with an independent broker agency will help you determine which company offers the best price for life insurance for your specific needs, age, and health.
Even if we weren’t an independent agency, we’d still urge you to work with one instead of going directly with a company you think will work best.
It might surprise you at what you can get when you cast a wide net instead of a small one.
Types of Life Insurance Gerber Life Offers
Gerber Life offers several life insurance options for children and adults:
- Gerber Grow-Up Plan
- Gerber Life Insurance College Plan
- Term life insurance
- Whole life insurance
- Guaranteed life insurance
- Accident protection insurance
Gerber Grow-Up Plan
The Gerber Grow-Up plan is children’s whole life insurance. Parents and grandparents can buy coverage for a child a few weeks old up to age 17.
Coverage starts at $5,000 and you can buy up to $50,000 per policy.
The children’s whole life policy has cash value, which will build up slowly over time. Eventually (years down the road), you can access the cash value to borrow against or withdraw completely.
If you take a loan against the cash value, it has an 8% interest rate on the balance until it’s paid in full. If the child dies before the loan is paid back, it lowers the death benefit amount by the outstanding loan balance.
Once the child reaches 21, they become the policyholder. They can keep paying on the policy or surrender it for the cash value, minus any outstanding loan balance.
Gerber Benefits at No Cost
Something unique about the Gerber Grow-Up Plan is that once the child hits 18, the coverage amount doubles. So if you buy a $10,000 policy, the death benefit becomes $20,000 on their 18th birthday. At no extra cost.
The child also has guaranteed insurability with Gerber as long as the policy stays in force. That means if the child wants to buy more life insurance as an adult, they can at their current age, no matter what their health status is.
Gerber Life Insurance College Plan
Gerber offers parents an alternative to education IRAs and 529 plans for their children.
The Gerber Life Insurance College Plan provides term life insurance to the parent or grandparent aged 18-60.
If the parent or grandparent dies during the term duration, Gerber pays the coverage amount out as the death benefit.
If the parent or grandparent is still alive when the policy term ends, the policy reaches maturity, and Gerber pays out the coverage amount as the death benefit. The beneficiary can use the payout for anything, whether that’s college expenses or to buy a house. Whereas education IRAs and 529 plans are earmarked just for educational expenses.
You can get a plan term for 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, or 20 years. You can also choose your monthly payment amount, which can be $35, $135, $235, $335, or $435.
The longer the plan term and higher the monthly payment, the greater the plan payout. The policy can be a guaranteed amount of $10,000 to $150,000.
Gerber Term Life Insurance
Here are the basics of the Gerber term life insurance plan:
- Choose 10, 20, or 30 years of coverage
- Issue ages are 18 to 70
- Coverage amounts from $100,000 to $300,000
If you’re over 50 and apply for Gerber term life insurance, you can only choose from a 10- or 20-year term.
Gerber Whole Life Insurance
Gerber whole life insurance is for adults aged 18-70. It builds cash value like the Gerber Grow-Up Plan. Coverage amounts range from $50,000 to $300,000.
Whole life insurance is more expensive than term life because it covers you for your lifetime instead of a certain number of years. You also get cash value with whole life, which you don’t get with term life.
Gerber Guaranteed Life Insurance
Gerber guaranteed life insurance is for seniors between the ages of 50-80.
You can get coverage from $5,000 to $25,000 and acceptance is guaranteed. That means there are no health questions on the application or medical exam to complete. Just finalize the application and make your first payment, and coverage is automatically approved.
This type of policy is the most expensive option, but is best for seniors in poor health or who have been turned down by another carrier because of health issues.
Since it’s a whole life policy, it also builds cash value, which can be used to pay premiums, withdraw, or take a loan against down the road.
Gerber Life Accident Protection Insurance
Gerber Life also offers accident insurance, which is also called accidental death and dismemberment insurance, or AD&D. This policy only pays out if the insured dies from an accidental death or is disabled during a covered injury.
People between the ages of 18-69 can apply for $50,000 to $250,000 in AD&D coverage. This policy doesn’t have health questions or a medical exam requirement.
You can get a quote by entering just your state into the website. Then you can select the amount you want and apply.
Gerber Life Underwriting Process
Except for the senior guaranteed life insurance policy, all Gerber life policies are subject to medical underwriting.
According to Gerber, most applicants get approved by just answering health questions on the application, without having to take a medical exam.
If you’re 51 or over and apply for more than $100,000 in life insurance coverage, a medical exam is required.
The following factors are considered by Gerber when determining your pricing, approval, and whether a medical exam is needed:
- Health history
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- If you have life insurance already in force
Quotes and Pricing
If you’re interested in getting a quote for Gerber Life insurance, you can get one with just a few pieces of information:
- Your age
- State of residence
- Tobacco usage
If you’re applying for a child policy, you also have to provide the child’s age, gender, and your relationship to them.
Once you get a quote, you can then proceed to the application, which Gerber estimates will take about 5 minutes to complete.
At the end of the application, you’re asked to enter payment info before you get the chance to review and sign the application. You get a 10% discount if you pay using automatic debit from your checking account.
They don’t take any money from your account or credit or debit card unless you’re approved for the policy.
Pros & Cons of Gerber Life
Reviews, Testimonials, & Complaints (BBB, Glassdoor, Trustpilot, NAIC)
Before you buy any type of life insurance, you should first check out reviews, testimonials, and complaints online to get a sense of who the company is, how they handle claims, and how consumers view them. Let’s see what people have to say about Gerber Life.
Gerber Life has an A+ BBB rating, which is the best you can get, although it’s not accredited by the BBB.
Out of 17 customer reviews, it receives a 1.24 out of 5 stars, with 100 complaints in the last 3 years.
Now, you have to take these reviews with a grain of salt, because rarely will people post a positive review on BBB. Most complaints are about
- Having to provide documentation repeatedly
- Not being able to reach anyone during regular hours by phone
- Payments not being applied correctly
- Having a hard time canceling the policy after calling in to request it
A telling sign of how well a company actually functions is through its employees. Glassdoor reviews are just that, the good and bad of working with a company like Gerber Life.
With 87 reviews, Gerber Life receives a 3.7 out of 5 stars. At least 73% of current and past employees would recommend the company to a friend. And an impressive 93% approve of CEO Keith O’Reilly.
Another consumer website that aggregates reviews is Trustpilot. While there are currently only 4 reviews for Gerber Life, 3 rate Gerber Life as excellent with 1 bad review.
The bad review is for poor customer service agent attitude when they called to resolve an unauthorized payment deduction. There is no resolution listed for this issue.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners compiles a National Complaint Index Report each year for every insurance company. The NAIC index is always 1.00.
In 2021, Gerber Life received a 0.70 complaint index, which means it received 30% fewer complaints as expected for life insurers. The company received a total of 25 complaints to the NAIC last year.
Gerber Life Customer Service: Claims, Payment, Cash Out, Policy Assistance
Gerber Life has several ways to contact them if you have questions about your policy, need to file a claim, make a payment, or need other assistance.
Gerber Life Phone Number
You can contact Gerber Life Monday thru Friday from 8am to 7pm Eastern Time at 1-800-704-2180.
Gerber Life Fax Number
If you need to fax something to Gerber Life, you can do so at 231-928-3078.
Gerber Life Email/Contact Form
Gerber Life also has a contact form you can fill out with questions about
- Billing and payments
- eService questions
- General policy changes or questions
Gerber Life Address
To mail something to Gerber Life, the address is:
Gerber Life Insurance Co.
445 State Street
Fremont, MI 49412
Gerber Life eService
You can also manage your policies online using Gerber Life’s eService. Here, you can
- Pay your bill
- View your payment history
- View and save your policy documents
- Update your contact info
- Change beneficiaries and other policy details
To enroll in eService, you need your
- Policy number
- Date of birth of the insured
- Policy ZIP code
- Email address
- Billing name and address
You also have to create a password, with your email address as your username. Once you enroll, you can access your policy online 24/7.
File a Claim
To file a claim, you should call Gerber Life’s dedicated life claim phone number, 1-800-628-0560 between 8am-7pm Monday thru Friday.
You can mail claim forms and other documents for claim processing to:
Gerber Life Insurance Company
Life Claims Processing Unit
445 State Street
Fremont MI 49412
Frequently Asked Questions in Gerber Life Reviews
How Much Can You Borrow From a Life Insurance Policy Gerber Life Insurance?
You can borrow up to the amount in the cash value portion of the Gerber Life insurance policy. The borrowed amount is subject to an 8% interest rate. If the insured dies before the loan amount is repaid in full, the outstanding amount will reduce the death benefit.
Do Gerber Life Insurance Policies Pay Dividends?
No, Gerber Life insurance policies do not pay dividends. But, the cash value in the whole life insurance policies can be used to pay premiums, similar to dividend payouts.
Does Gerber Life Insurance Pay for Suicidal Death?
No life insurance policy pays for suicidal death in the first two years, including Gerber Life. If the insured dies by suicide after the policy has been in effect for over two years, the policy should pay. You can reach out to Gerber Life directly to confirm if and when suicidal death is covered.
Can You Get a Gerber Life Insurance Policy if You Have Cancer?
You may be able to get a Gerber Life insurance policy if you have cancer. Gerber Life underwrites each individual application for high-risk applicants, which would include cancer patients. However, cancer patients can get approval for a Gerber Life guaranteed issue coverage for seniors since there are no health questions or medical exam and coverage is guaranteed.