Gerber Life Insurance Review: A Must Read For Seniors – 2020

Gerber Life Insurance Review
Gerber Life Insurance Review: A Must Read For Seniors – 2020

Gerber Life Logo

Usually, people start looking for life insurance when a big life event happens. This can be a marriage, birth of a child, or an unfortunate major illness or death that has affected you or your family.

Maybe you have stumbled upon a commercial or brochure that was sent to you. Besides the baby food and other child-related products, Gerber is also heavily involved in the Life Insurance industry.

Gerber Life Insurance Review

The Gerber Company has been around since 1928. This is the product you may see in your local grocery store in the baby food section. For over 90 years this company has been a staple in the family care business.

It wasn’t until 1967 that this American company set up shop to enter the life insurance world.

The Gerber Family Products Company is a separate affiliate from its life insurance division.

Company Details

  • Established: 1967
  • A.M. Best Company Financial Rating: A
  • Headquarters: White Plains, New York

Plan Types:

  • Plan 1: Guaranteed Acceptance
  • Plan 2: Grow-Up
  • Plan 3: Young Adult
  • Plan 4: College
  • Plan 5: Term Life
  • Plan 6: Whole life
  • Plan 7: Accidental Protection

Guaranteed Acceptance Plan thumbs up

Plan 1: Guaranteed Acceptance

This product is designed for seniors 50-80 years of age, who have had severe health conditions in the past. There are no medical exams and you are assured to be approved. Typically this type of coverage is used as burial insurance.

Quick facts about this plan

  • No medical exam
  • Two year waiting period from the policy issue date.
  • No health questions
  • States that coverage is available: 49 states (not MT)
  • Age Eligibility: 50 – 80
  • Coverage amount: $5,000 – $25,000
  • Tax-free lump-sum
  • Premiums are locked in
  • Coverage is locked in
  • 30-day free look period

What does it take to qualify

The best part about this product is anyone and everyone can qualify. Regardless of any pre-existing medical condition, you are guaranteed to be covered.

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No health questions

The top feature of this product is that they do not ask about your health. The proposed insured needs to be able to sign his or her name, that is the only stipulation.

The trade-off with this plan is there is a two year waiting period for coverage. This means if the proposed insured was to pass within two years of the policy issue date the beneficiary would receive all the paid premiums back plus 10 percent.

10 percent is much more than you would receive if your money was just sitting in a bank account. If you did want day one coverage you would need to look elsewhere.

Competitively Priced

The great news is if you needed to secure a guaranteed issue product, Gerber is extremely competitive in the market. Almost all guaranteed issue plans are structured the same way. So you can feel comfortable choosing this policy and go with the cheapest product and a well-respected brand. This product is much better priced than a top competitor like John Hancock.

Price and coverage never change

This is a simplified issue whole life product which means there are no medical exams and it comes with a price and coverage lock. Rest assured as long as you pay your monthly premiums each month your policy will read the same on year 30 as it did in year 1.

This is a huge benefit when you are looking for a product that gives you the peace of mind knowing your family and loved ones will not have a financial burden on their hands.

Quotes and Comparisons

Male

$10,000 Coverage

AgeGerberAIGGreat WesternJohn Hancock
50$44$52$59NA
55$58$57$64$73
60$64$63$75$82
65$85$84$92$105
70$99$98$119$135
75$139$139$158$175
80$247$246$227$232
85NA$316NANA

Female

$10,000 Coverage

AgeGerberAIGGreat WesternJohn Hancock
50$34$36$49$NA
55$44$43$56$50
60$51$50$66$59
65$63$62$80$74
70$76$75$102$95
75$108$107$138$129
80$176$175$190$180
85NA$199NANA

Should I apply for the Guaranteed Acceptance Plan?

This product is for someone who has had past major health conditions and surgeries including but not limited to:

  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Assistance with activities of daily living
  • Bone Marrow Transplant
  • Cancer (presently)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Dementia
  • Heart attacks
  • HIV
  • Organ transplant
  • Stroke (within the past 12 months)
  • Taking Oxygen (sleep apnea not included)

If you have had any of these major health conditions this product would be recommended. It gives anyone the chance to obtain coverage for the greater good of their loved ones.

If you feel like you are in average to good health there is a very strong possibility that you can qualify for a plan that offers day one coverage.

Talk with an agent who has access to many different companies to find you an immediate coverage option.

During our Gerber Life Insurance Review, this product is one of the best price points on the market for this type of coverage.

Mutual of Omaha and AIG are both great options as well.

Grow up plan

Plan 2: Grow-Up

This product is meant for children 14 days old-14 years old. It is a whole life product that builds a cash value. Parents, grandparents, or legal guardians initially own the policy until the child turns 21. Once the child reaches this age, the child becomes the owner of the policy and can continue having coverage if the monthly premiums are met.

Quick facts about this plan

  • States that offer coverage: All 50 states
  • Age Eligibility: 14 days-14 years old
  • Immediate coverage
  • Coverage amount: $5,000-$50,000
  • Tax-free lump-sum
  • 2 simple health questions
  • Builds Cash Value
  • The child becomes the policy owner when they turn 21
  • Coverage doubles when the child reaches 18 years of age
  • Premiums are locked in for life
  • Coverage is locked in for life
  • Policy Conversion: Switches coverage to “Young Adult Plan” depending on age

What does it take to qualify?

The child needs to be between the ages of 14 days and 14 years old. Once the child turns 15 he or she will no longer be eligible for this plan. There are two simple health questions that the parent, grandparent, or legal guardians must answer for the child.

Medical Questions

1. Were any of the children born prematurely or with abnormalities at birth diagnosed by a medical professional? (SKIP this question if child IS more than 1 year old)

2. Within the past five years have any of the children listed above been treated or diagnosed by a physician for: respiratory disorder, heart disease or disorder, mental disease or disorder, or any other impairments or diseases?

Family sitting on the couch smiling

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This is a Whole Life Product

As a standard Whole Life product, the coverage amount and price are locked in for the life of the policy. This means as long as the legal guardian and ultimately the child pays the monthly premiums the policy will never expire.

Also, a cash value is built into the policy. This means that if the insured needs money at some point he or she can borrow money from the policy for a set interest rate which is currently 8%.

Policy Doubles

The coverage amount doubles on the policy anniversary date during the 18th year of the child. This means that whether you buy the policy at age 3 or age 14, the coverage amount will double on the child’s 18th year.

This is great in theory but the monthly premiums are already double the price of some of its competitors. So it almost feels like the policy doubling in coverage is built into the policy due to the high cost and is ultimately not that big of a benefit.

Surrendering the Policy

If the policy owner ever decides to surrender the policy, they would then receive the accumulated cash value that has been growing while the policy was active. Remember to take any outstanding loans into account before selecting this option.

The cash value will be the amount accumulated minus any outstanding balances. (When the child turns 21 the policy belongs to them.)

Quotes and Comparisons

Boy & Girl

Monthly Premiums for $25,000 of Coverage

AgeGERBERMUTUAL OF OMAHA
0$15.70$8.50
2$16.83$8.50
4$17.91$8.50
6$19.05$10.50
8$20.35$10.50
10$21.76$12.25
12$23.33$12.25
14$24.98$12.25

Should I apply my child for the Grow-Up Plan?

This product type is an extremely underserved niche in the industry but there are better options from other companies in the marketplace today.

I recommend looking into Mutual Of Omaha’s Children’s Whole Life product. The Premiums are cheaper with very similar benefits.

You can do better!

Young adult plan

Plan 3: Young Adult

This policy type is reserved for teens ages 15-17 years old. This is a whole life policy which means it builds cash value with premiums and coverage amounts locked in.

The policy doubles in coverage after the policy anniversary of their 18th birthday.

Quick facts about this plan

  • No medical exam
  • Day-1 Coverage.
  • One page application with a few health questions
  • States that offer coverage: All 50 states
  • Age Eligibility: 15-17
  • Coverage amount: $5,000-$50,000
  • Premiums are locked in
  • Coverage is locked in
  • 30-day free look period
  • The child becomes the policy owner when they turn 21

Quotes

Boy & Girl

Monthly Premiums

Age$15,000$25,000$35,000
15$16.18$25.95$36.32
16$16.77$37.67$74.00
17$17.37$39.02$90.00

Should I apply my child for the Young Adult Plan?

This is a very similar plan to the “grow-up plan” we reviewed earlier in this post. Once again, steer clear of this policy as there are cheaper options on the market. Mutual of Omaha Children’s whole life is a better policy to look into.

Go elsewhere for this product!

College Plan

Plan 4: College

This product is meant for children ages 0-18. It is a vehicle meant to save for college but also doubles as an adult life product. This is constructed as an adult term policy that covers a parent until the policy reaches the maturity date.

Once the maturity date is reached the policy is paid out in a lump-sum with a guaranteed amount. The mature date typically is tied to the graduation of high school for a child. There are tax implications once the endowment is paid out.

The cash value does come with a rate of return but this varies policy to policy.

Quick facts about this plan

  • No medical exam
  • Immediate coverage.
  • 6 simple health questions
  • States that offer coverage: All 50 states
  • Age eligibility for payout: 0-18
  • Guardian age eligibility for term coverage: 18-61
  • Coverage amount: $10,000-$150,000
  • Cash returns are taxable income
  • Premiums are locked in
  • Coverage is locked in

What does it take to qualify?

The Parent, Grandparent, or Legal Guardian needs to be over the age of 18 and able to say “No” to the 6 medical questions. Also, the child needs to be between the ages of 0-18 years old.

Medical Questions

1. In the past 5 years, have you: been hospitalized or consulted with or examined or treated by any doctor or health facility?

(You do not need to include colds, minor viruses, or minor injuries which prevented normal activities for a period of less than 5 days or normal pregnancy or childbirth.)

2. In the past 5 years, have you: been advised by a member of a medical profession to reduce the use of alcohol or to seek treatment for the use of alcohol or drugs, or used any controlled substance except as prescribed by a physician?

3. In the past 10 years, have you been treated or diagnosed by a member of a medical professional for the following:

  • heart disease or disorder
  • cancer or tumor
  • diabetes
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • high blood pressure or stroke
  • mental or nervous disorder
  • any disorder of the blood, kidneys, liver, lungs, stomach, intestines or central nervous system
  • pneumonia or swollen lymph nodes
  • AIDS  or HIV

4. Have you ever plead guilty to or been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or do you have such a charge currently pending against you?

5. Do you have any existing life or annuity contracts?

6. Will any life or annuity policy be replaced, changed, or used to pay for the product applied for in this application?

Child doing dishes while dad helps

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Two different benefits

This product doubles as a saving vehicle and a term life policy. This could be very appealing for a parent or grandparent who is looking to put money away for a child’s college fund but also needs a death benefit to protect themselves.

The cash benefit and coverage typically coincide with the child’s high school graduation year. Once the maturity date is reached the term coverage of the policy is terminated.

The payout to the child is taxable income

This is a big downside to this policy. There is no way to get around this when it comes to taxes on the payout. The carrier will send you a 1099 form for the child to claim on taxes.

Canceling the policy

If you were to cancel the policy there are some very important dates to be aware of. Cancelation before the midpoint of the policy would cause you to forfeit the money you paid into the policy.

It is crucial if you are going to cancel the policy that you do not terminate the contract until the halfway point. If you wait until after the midpoint then you will be able to get back your paid premiums.

  • Example- If you have a 10-year policy and cancel in year 4 then the carrier will keep the money you paid in. In this same example if you were to wait until year 5 to cancel you would be guaranteed to receive your money back.

Should I apply my child for the College Plan?

We do not recommend using this product.

If you need both a term policy and a college savings fund we would encourage you to obtain both of these products separately. You can find much cheaper term options on the market and a better rate of return with other types of financial products.

This is because you are not gaining very much cash value every month. After all, you have already paid the majority of your premiums to cover the life protection portion of the policy. The leftover money for savings is minimal.

It seems like you are making it simple on yourself by combining two products that you need.

This is great in theory but there are better options in the marketplace today. Also, you have no control over how the money is invested.

As far as the savings portion of the equation, opening a separate account for savings or a 529 plan would be a better option.

The difference between this plan and a 529 plan is that the 529 plan has to be used for college expenses. If you use your 529 plan for anything other than approved purchases tax penalties will be incurred. This is similar to the high taxes of this Gerber plan.

Our Gerber Life Insurance Review shows that you need to avoid the temptation of combining the two products even though it may seem easier.

Term Life

Plan 5: Term Life

This product is meant for someone looking for coverage in the short run. This type of policy is more economical than a permanent policy because it does not last your entire life. The majority of prospects will not need to take a medical exam.

An exam would only be required if the proposed insured is 51 or older and is requesting more than $100,000 of coverage. Also, premiums stay the same throughout the length of coverage.

Quick facts about this plan

  • 7 health questions
  • States that offer coverage: 49 states (not NY)
  • Age eligibility: 18-70
  • Coverage amount: $100,000-$300,000
  • Medical exam needed if you are 51 and older and want $100,000 of coverage
  • Premiums are locked in during the policy
  • Coverage is locked in during the policy
  • The policy can be renewed without an exam but rates will increase
  • The policy can be converted to permanent plans with certain restrictions

What does it take to qualify?

There are 7 health questions.

You will need to answer “no” to all the health questions.

Stethoscope laying on the paper

Medical Questions

1. In the past 10 years, have you been diagnosed, treated, hospitalized, or prescribed medication by a medical professional for:

  • AIDS
  • Blood Disease or Disorder
  • Cancer or TumorHeart with cross on the inside
  • Diabetes
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Gastrointestinal Disease or Disorder
  • Heart Disease or Disorder
  • High Blood Pressure
  • HIV
  • Kidney Disease or Disorder
  • Liver Disease or Disorder
  • Lung Disease or Disorder
  • Mental or Nervous Disorder
  • Stroke

2. Other than noted in question 1 above, and excluding pregnancy, in the past 5 years have you been advised by a medical professional of any other medical condition that will require additional tests (excluding those related to HIV), treatment, or surgery?

3. In the past year, have you received benefit payments for accidents or sickness, or applied to any government or insurance organization for such benefits?

4. In the past 5 years have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or are you currently on parole or probation, do you have charges pending against you or are you currently incarcerated?

5. Within the past 5 years have you flown other than as a fare-paying passenger, or are you contemplating or planning to fly, as a pilot, crew member, or aviation student within the next 2 years?

6. Within the past 5 years have you participated in, or in the next 2 years contemplate or plan to participate in scuba diving, skin diving, sky diving/parachuting, hang gliding, ballooning, bungee jumping, motor vehicle racing, mountain climbing, or cave exploration?

7. To the best of your knowledge, have you had a natural parent or sibling who was diagnosed by a medical professional with or died of cancer, heart disease, or diabetes prior to the age of 60?

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Three coverage options

The carrier offers three coverage amount options.

  • $100,000
  • $200,000
  • $300,000

Three-term lengths

You can choose from three different term lengths.

  • 10 years
  • 20 years
  • 30 years

The price and coverage amount are locked in for the length of the policy

This is extremely beneficial to someone looking to have this coverage over 10-30 years and want to pay the same amount each month no matter what!

Not all term policies are like this. An example of a company that raises their prices every 5 years is Globe Life.

Quotes and Comparisons

Male 

$200,000 Coverage- 10 year term

AgeGerberMutual of OmahaForesters FinancialState Farm
35$44$40$24$30
40$62$52$35$36
45$80$74$49$49
50$117$111$69$62
55$124*$91 *$64*$80
60$191*$137*$120*$124
65$259*$208*$154*$195
70$447*$334*$317*$356

Female

$200,000 Coverage

AgeGerberMutual of OmahaForesters FinancialState Farm
35$37$33$22$27
40$49$39$28$33
45$61$58$40$40
50$85$81$50$49
55$83*$63*$47*$62
60$128*$100*$77*$94
65$174*$158*$120*$146
70$305*$250*$247*$253

*requires a medical exam

These are non-smoking rate estimates.

Should I apply for the Term Life Plan?

Although we can appreciate that the coverage and price are locked in for the duration of the policy, we are unable to endorse this plan. As you can see in the quotes section you can find a much better price looking elsewhere.

Take your wallet to another carrier with a better price for the same benefits and coverage.

Whole life Plan with money

Plan 6: Whole Life

This plan is designed for a person who wants permanent coverage. Whole life gives you certainty in knowing that you will pay the same premium each month with no price increases and permanent coverage.

An added benefit and feature to this plan is it builds a cash value that you can borrow from.

Quick facts about this plan

  • No medical exam
  • 4 health questions
  • States that offer coverage: 49 states (not NY)
  • Age eligibility: 18-70
  • Coverage amount: $50,000-$300,000
  • The death benefit is a tax-free lump sum paid to the beneficiary
  • Medical exam needed if you are over 51 and want $100,000+ of coverage
  • Premiums are locked in
  • Coverage is locked in
  • Builds a cash value
  • Rider available: Waiver of premium for disability

What does it take to qualify?

You will need to be able to answer “no” to the four health questions.

Medical Questions

1. In the past 10 years, have you been diagnosed, treated, hospitalized, or prescribed medication by a medical professional for:

  • Cancer or Tumor
  • Diabetes
  • Drug or Alcohol Abuse
  • Heart Disease or Disorder
  • Mental or Nervous Disorder
  • Stroke
  • AIDS
  • HIV

2. Other than noted in question 1 above, and excluding pregnancy, in the past 5 years have you been advised by a medical professional of any other medical condition that will require additional tests (excluding those related to HIV), treatment or surgery?

3. In the past year, have you received benefit payments for accident or sickness, or applied to any government or insurance organization for such benefits?

4. In the past 5 years have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or are you currently on parole or probation, do you have charges pending against you or are you currently incarcerated?

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Monthly payments will never increase

Premiums are locked in for life. This is a standard feature for a whole life product but an important benefit to note. As you age you can be assured that your price will never spike like other products on the market.

Builds a cash value

This is key if you are ever in a position where you need to borrow money from your policy. You can borrow from the accumulated cash value on your policy and use the money however you need.

The current interest rate for borrowing from the policy is 8%.

From each monthly payment made, a portion will go towards the death benefit and a portion will go towards the cash value.

No medical exam required

Typically a medical exam will not be necessary. The only time you will need to get a full exam would be if you are 51 years or older and looking for more then $100,000 of coverage.

Quotes and Comparisons

Male $150,000 Coverage
AgeGerberForesters FinancialState FarmRoyal Neighbors
35$160$173$198$132
40$201$199$238$169
45$243$245$296$214
50$269$303$368$272
55$374*$371*$467$345
60$497*$477*$631$411
65$620*$620*$830$508
70$950*$851*$1015$661

Female

$150,000 Coverage

AgeGerberForesters FinancialState FarmRoyal Neighbors
35$158$166$166$115
40$188$192$195$144
45$218$225$231$182
50$254$270$304$229
55$341*$335*$389$287
60$451*$429*$497$350
65$560*$555*$673$437
70$858*$764*$893$561

*requires a medical exam

These are non-smoking rate estimates.

Should I apply for the Whole Life Plan?

This is a standard whole life plan. You will be able to find a cheaper monthly premium with the same plan benefits.

Look to a different carrier to satisfy your permanent coverage needs.

Accidental Protection

Plan 7: Accidental Protection

This policy protects against accidental death and disability. This is an affordable standalone option to cover any catastrophic injury or tragic unexpected accidents.

With the payout from the policy, you can pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. Unlike traditional life policies, this policy does not pay out if the insured dies from natural illness, only from an accident.

Rates will never increase with this plan.

Quick facts about this plan

  • No medical exam
  • No health questions
  • States that offer coverage: All 50 states
  • Age eligibility: 19-69
  • Coverage amount: $20,000-$100,000
  • Premiums are locked in
  • Coverage is locked in

Sample Quotes

Male & Female

Monthly Premiums

$35,000$50,000$100,000
$3.36$4.80$9.59

Should I apply for the Accidental Protection Plan?

Typically you can add “riders” for this type of coverage onto a life policy that also will cover natural death. We recommend finding a carrier that allows you to add an accidental death rider to your policy.

An inexpensive plan option that has this rider option is Mutual Of Omaha.

Save money and find this benefit built into another carrier’s life policy.

Final Thoughts

a. We think Gerber is a very trustworthy company with lots of good equity built up over the years. The issue that we continued to see during our Gerber Life Insurance Review was that none of their products are bad but also not overwhelmingly great.

All of the price points and benefits are middle of the road. For every policy offered we are able to find you a cheaper price point with the same benefits.

b. Find an independent agent to work with. This is important for many reasons, atop the list is that someone who is not tied to one company can shop different carriers and find what’s best for you given any health conditions you may have.

There is not a one size fits all carrier in this industry, each company has a health niche that they are willing to insure. An independent agent has the key to unlock the doors to the best price for your situation.

Here at Willamette Life, we have all the tools to help you make an informed decision. Give us a call at 833-518-0080

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