Gerber Whole Life Insurance Review

For many years, the Gerber Life Insurance Company has been front and center in the minds of consumers throughout the United States.

Despite the fact that the company has been in business since 1967, it has not made any changes to its approach over the past 50 years. For this reason, it has yet to reach the same level as many of its competitors, instead leaving it at the bottom of the industry and in search of answers.

At the time of this review, Gerber Life is licensed to sell policies throughout the United States, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Along with this, the company has approximately $50 billion of policies in force.

While the Gerber Life Insurance Company offers many types of policies, one is more popular than the rest: the Grow-Up Plan. This is the one you have probably seen advertised on television, in a variety of magazines, and even on Facebook.

In short, the Grow-Up Plan is a children’s whole life insurance policy. Although this one is the company’s most popular, there are others that provide protection to people age 18 and up. These include:

  • Whole Life Plan
  • Guaranteed Life Plan
  • Accident Protection
  • The Gerber Term Life Plan

Like all whole life insurance companies, there are some benefits associated with Gerber. But even with the Gerber brand and a company that has been around for more than 50 years, it has yet to catch up to the competition. In the review to follow, we’ll discuss the pros and cons.

The Good

Selection

 

Regardless of other details, it’s always good to find a whole life insurance policy with a nice selection of coverage options. This is exactly what you get with the Gerber Life Insurance Company.

For young children, including infants, the Grow-Up Plan is a popular choice. Consumers who are age 18 or older, however, still have plenty of options, including a traditional whole life plan.

Name Recognition

Some consumers feel better purchasing whole life insurance from a company they know. Since the Gerber brand has been a household name for nearly 100 years, this company definitely fits the mold.

Name recognition doesn’t have anything to do with the actual coverage, but if nothing else it gives you more confidence when beginning the buying process.

Ratings

A.M. Best Company Rating:  A (3)

Excellent. Assigned to companies that have, in our opinion, an excellent ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders.

Weiss Safety Rating: B+ (4)

Good. The company offers good financial security and has the resources to deal with a variety of adverse economic conditions. It comfortably exceeds the minimum levels for all of our rating criteria, and is likely to remain healthy for the near future. However, in the event of a severe recession or major financial crisis, we feel that this assessment should be reviewed to make sure that the firm is still maintaining adequate financial strength.

The Not So Good

Future Negative Tax Implication

When purchasing any type of life insurance, it’s important to think about the present and the future. This is particularly true when doing business with a company that sells policies that endow.

In short, Gerber Life Insurance Company whole life plans endow, meaning that it becomes taxable. From a financial perspective, especially when you consider the fact that there are many alternatives, this is a bad choice. Most consumers find that this one detail is more than enough to push them toward almost any other option.

No Growth

If you visit the Grow-Up Plan website, you’ll soon find yourself in position to request a quote for your child. As harmless as this may be, as it gives you a good idea of what the company has to offer, you will probably walk away disappointed.

Using round numbers, the cost of coverage for a 3-year-old child will be somewhere in the $6 to $8 range. While that sounds extremely affordable – and it is – you have to understand what happens over the long run.

The cash value doesn’t kick in until year four, and even when it does you can expect it to be in the $30 range. This is not exactly the great investment the company makes it out to be. Worse yet, by the time the child reaches 18, the value would only be $600 to $800.

Final Word

Outside of its brand, the Gerber Life Insurance Company doesn’t have much going for it. While there is a nice selection of policies, the fact that these endow, combined with the slow cash value growth, make it a poor purchase.

If you’re in the market for whole life insurance, either for yourself or your child, it’s best to consider other options. There are plenty of companies that offer better coverage and growth opportunities. Consider companies like: MassMutual, Ohio National or New York Life.

Also to help you pick a good company read our article on how to pick a whole life insurance company.

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