A class action lawsuit has been filed against Gerber Life Insurance Company concerning the Gerber Grow Up Plan and the Gerber Life College Plan.
The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial, alleges that the two plans are deceptively named and marketed, misrepresenting the functioning and features of the plans. The lawsuit also alleges that the plans “lock consumers into a guaranteed loss at best and total loss of their investment at worst.”
The lawsuit refers to the Gerber Life Insurance Company’s consumer insurance products as “the financial equivalent of junk food” and asserts that they are “risky plans that provide little if any value.”
The lawsuit’s complaint concerning the Gerber Grow Up Plan alleges that Gerber Life Insurance Company misrepresents a life insurance policy as a savings plan and as a “good financial start.” But, the complaint alleges that the plan “is not a savings plan” but is “actually a life insurance policy” that “when accounting for inflation, operates at a loss for consumers.” According to the complaint, the surrender value at age 20 is less than the total of the premiums paid.
The lawsuit’s complaint concerning the Gerber Life College Plan alleges that the plan “Is not a college savings plan but an endowment life insurance policy in disguise.” The lawsuit claims that the guaranteed payout is small compared with the total contributions and that the “plan payout is guaranteed only when the policy reaches maturity, if all plan premiums have been paid.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the Gerber Life College Plan is “quantifiably a worse college savings vehicle than other common college savings devices.” The lawsuit cites the 2018 Savingforcollege.com article, Is the Gerber Life College Plan a good investment?This article showed that bank CDs outperform the Gerber Life College Plan and that the plan loses money after one accounts for taxes and the impact on financial aid eligibility. The lawsuit also quotes Joe Hurley, founder of Savingforcollege.com.
With both plans, if the family misses a payment, the lawsuit alleges that they will lose all or a significant portion of their investment. This is a characteristic of life insurance policies, not college savings plans.
The lawsuit seeks restitution (disgorgement of all policy premiums), plus punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. The lawsuit also seeks declaratory and injunctive relief.
The lawsuit, Prewitt, Beulah vs. Gerber Life Insurance Company, is brought as a class action under Kentucky state law. The class consists of all consumers in the state of Kentucky who purchased the Gerber Grow Up Plan and/or the Gerber Life College Plan within the applicable statute of limitations.