In today’s world, we are just starting to value life insurance once again and this means realizing just how important it can be to protect family members in the shape of a death benefit. However, the decision itself to set up a policy can be a little tricky because there are so many companies claiming to be the best and offer the best deals. Therefore, we want to help you with this decision and it starts today with a review of Gerber Life Insurance, currently one of our favorite final expense insurance companies. Sure, you may have heard all about them but are they any good? Also, what products do they actually offer? Let’s take a look…
2017 Review of Gerber Life Insurance
About Gerber Life Insurance Company
- Customer service: (800) 704-2180
- Headquarters: White Plains, NY
After entering the life insurance market back in the late 1960s, Gerber Life’s initial mission was to help young families obtain life insurance even with a small budget. Over time, the company’s many products have reflected this and they are still helping thousands of young families each and every year. In fact, the whole company has a goal and that is to help all parents raise ‘happy, healthy children’.
Furthermore, they have put a lot of work into getting parents to trust them with financial protection as well as many other types of protection which is why they are one of the first companies that young parents tend to contact. For example, affordable child life insurance policies are now available which enable parents to have peace of mind moving forward and provide cash accumulation for the child to use later in life.
With their main headquarters in Michigan, Gerber Life Insurance offers numerous products in the United States as well as in Canada and even Puerto Rico.
Gerber Life Insurance Policies
To start, let’s take a look at the products offered because you need to know whether they can help you at all. If they don’t offer the type of product you are looking for, you might need to look elsewhere. In truth, they do have a wide range of products from the standard packages to the rare finds that you won’t find with too many other companies. Many of Gerber’s policies are simplified issue or guaranteed issue life insurance.
Whole Life Insurance
First, this insurance policy will last until you die and offers many of the standard terms as seen with normal whole life policies. As well as the guaranteed death benefit, which will go to a life insurance beneficiary, guaranteed cash value accumulation will also build over time tax deferred and available for use whenever required. If necessary, these funds can be used for retirement, towards buying a home, paying debts, college expenses, or even just a vacation.
As long as the premiums are paid when due, the death benefit will remain in place and can be found from $25,000 all the way up to $150,000 for people between the ages of 18 to 50. If you wanted no medical examination whole life, a face value policy of up to $100,000 can normally be obtained.
Term Life Insurance
On the flip side, this is a policy that has no cash value but just the death benefit. Generally, these will be cheaper because there is no cash value building up and because they only last for a certain amount of time. With Gerber Life Insurance, you will find that the minimum term is ten years before then going up in intervals of five years to 30-year plans (with the exception of a 25 year term). Whichever length of plan you choose, the premium will remain the same (i.e. fixed) throughout the term period.
Again, coverage options can be found between $25,000 and $150,000 and the premiums can start at just $8.00 each month. Without a medical examination, coverage of up to $100,000 can be obtained. If you are young and healthy, this policy will be extremely affordable but there is a downside of the policy ending.
If you need to cover funeral and burial costs, this is an option with Gerber Life Insurance because there are burial insurance policies to match these needs. For those aged between 50 and 80, there are no medical examinations nor are there any questions regarding your health so you will be guaranteed coverage regardless of your health history. In truth, these policies can be started in a matter of minutes online. However, coverage only allows for between $5,000 and $25,000. Furthermore, there will be a cash component to this policy because it is a permanent form of insurance.
Gerber Life Grow-Up Plan
With life insurance, it is very much a process of thinking about things you rather wouldn’t – but still need to. While none of us want to imagine losing a child, sometimes the unthinkable can happen which is why life insurance for children can be valuable. With Gerber Life Insurance, it takes just pennies each day to have them covered on a whole life plan.
The Gerber Grow-Up Plan offers face amounts from $5,000 and $50,000, cash value accumulation and the premium will remain the same. The policy is available for children up to age 14. Also, the coverage will double as they turn 18 years old.
Gerber Life College Plan
Gerber Life Collage Plan is designed to help kids who want to save for their future, whether that be a college fund or any other expenses later in life. Over time the plan’s cash value will grow at a fixed return. In other words, it doesn’t fluctuate like movements you would see in the stock market. Once the policy has matured, you will be guaranteed a payment of between $10,000 and $150,000. The child can then use the available funds for any expenses or purchases, which is unlike a 529 college plan where the money must be used for school related purchases.
Gerber Life’s Official Ratings
Before we look into the pros and cons of each option so you can decide whether the policies explained are right for you, we should assess the official ratings and this starts with A.M. Best. As of May 2016, Gerber Life has been given an ‘A’ rating, this means that they are in an ‘Excellent’ position moving to the future and are able to meet financial obligations. Essentially, this rating assesses a business’ ability to pay out the claims from customers so it is vital for a life insurance company. With this rating, it also means that Gerber Life Insurance is in a positive position to continue trading which is important considering your claim might be years into the future.
In terms of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Gerber is not currently an accredited company but they have been awarded an ‘A+’ rating on a scale that goes all the way down to ‘F’. As a customer, this is good news because it means that any potential problems you have are likely to be resolved in good time. Sticking with the theme of customers, data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners assesses how many complaints a company gets over a set period of time. With the median score being ‘1’, all scores below this means fewer complaints than the average – Gerber Life Insurance scored ‘0.55’ back in 2015 which is fantastic.
Pros of Gerber Life Insurance
As you can see, the official ratings for this company are very good so there is only one thing left to look through – the pros and cons of Gerber Life. As you will see, we have split the positives up into different sections according to the policy so you can see how they can benefit you and your circumstances.
- First, having the cash value side of the policy is always good news because you can use this money later in life without paying tax and you can even borrow against it. With Gerber, there may also be an opportunity to pay premiums with the amount that has built which means that you can save your own money every now and then. If you are hit with extra expenses one month, it can be useful to have enough stored to pay the premium in this type of emergency situation.
- With Gerber, there is no way that the policy will ever be cancelled. As long as you continue paying your premiums, the policy will remain in place and you can have the peace of mind you deserve.
- Talking about peace of mind, you will also be safe in the knowledge that there is no end date to your coverage. As long as the premiums are paid, there is no end date as we see with the term life option.
- With guaranteed issue, there is no need to worry about medical examinations or even health questions. When you fall into the age range required for the policy, the policy is absolutely guaranteed which is a positive for people that have been rejected life insurance in the past and are looking for final expense or burial insurance.
- For example, if you have cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia, or any other serious health issue, you can still get coverage with the guaranteed issue option.
- Second, it provides a death benefit for loved ones to pay for the funeral and any other medical bills or expenses that arise. When you have a health problem, you might think as though a death benefit is impossible but guaranteed issue allows it to happen.
Regardless of what policy you choose, you can be happy with the fact that the premiums will never increase. Recently, we have seen some companies who increase their premiums every five years, such as some of the Globe Life policies, but this is never the case with Gerber Life Insurance. Once you have agreed your chosen policy, this is the amount you will pay for the term or for the rest of your life.
Cons of Gerber Life Insurance
Unfortunately, there are also some negatives as there are with all insurance companies and policies so you should be aware of these points.
Considering you are providing the insurer with no information regarding your medical condition, guaranteed issue insurance will be expensive – but you will also find this wherever you go. If you are happy to answer a few questions regarding your health, simplified issue life insurance will be an option and this will be a little cheaper. If you only qualify for guaranteed issue, we should note that, although it is expensive, it is perhaps less expensive than Gerber’s competitors in the market.
Graded Death Benefit
Also, we should mention that there will be a graded death benefit if you need to go for a guaranteed issue policy. Ultimately, this means that there will be a certain amount of time before the death benefit is active – this is in place to protect the insurance company because you could set up a policy and pass away a week later. With Gerber, this is a two-year period where the beneficiary will only receive the paid premiums plus 10% if you were to die.
Gerber Life Insurance Review Summary
There we have it, everything you need to know about Gerber Life Insurance. Now, you should be in a good position to make a decision regarding your life insurance future. If you still aren’t sure, take a look at some of the other companies we have reviewed previously or give us a call today to speak to a life insurance professional!