Pacific Life Insurance Review

Wide variety of insurance policies for all ages

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Pacific Life

Pacific Life

overall rating
4.6

Our Take 

Pacific Life is a top-rated life insurance company with a variety of policies available, offering term life policies as well as a wide range of permanent life policies. Policy quotes are not available online and all policies require a medical exam. With a strong financial rating from AM Best and very few customer complaints, Pacific Life is a good option for term and universal life policies.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Wide array of policies for all age ranges

  • Term policies up to $3 million (or more) in coverage available

  • Large selection of universal life plans

Pros
  • No policy quotes available online

  • No accelerated underwriting available

  • No individual whole life or final expense policies available

Key Takeaways
  • Pacific Life is a large life insurance provider with excellent financial strength.
  • Pacific Life is a top-rated life insurance company by J.D. Power.
  • Pacific Life offers five types of life insurance with several available riders.
  • Pacific Life Insurance is the 12th-largest life insurance company in the US by market share (according to the NAIC).
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1868
  • Kinds of Plans Term, Whole, Universal, Indexed Universal, Variable Universal
  • Number of Plans 6
  • Payment Options Monthly, Quarterly, Semi-Annual, Annual
  • Official Website https://www.pacificlife.com/

Introduction

Pacific Life Insurance offers term, whole, and multiple types of universal life insurance at reasonable rates. We researched Pacific Life’s financial stability, policy plan options, riders, website tools, and customer service reviews to help you compare the life insurance policy options of Pacific Life with the competition. 

Company Overview

Pacific Life Insurance was founded in 1868 as Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company of California. It has grown into a large, national life insurance company, offering policies in all 50 states. There are currently over 900,000 Pacific Life Insurance customers, as well as over $1 trillion in policies in force. Its headquarters is in Newport Beach, California.

Pacific Life is a mutual company, meaning that policyholders are owners of the company and excess profits are returned in the form of annual dividends, helping lower costs. While Pacific Life is licensed in all 50 states, actual availability may vary by type of insurance and state. 

Note

Pacific Life also offers mutual funds, annuities, and even commercial real estate investments.

Available Plans 

Pacific Life offers term, whole, and universal life insurance policies with a variety of policy riders to add flexibility to your policy. Policy quotes are not available online, so you'll have to speak to an agent directly. 

Policies are sold through independent agents.

Term Life Insurance

Pacific Life offers term life insurance coverage with term lengths from 10 to 30 years and benefits ranging from $50,000 to $3,000,000+ in coverage. Term policies are convertible, meaning they can be converted into a whole life policy at the end of the term. Policies are also renewable, meaning coverage can be extended but for a higher rate. 

Pacific Life offers two term life policies:

  • Promise Term: This is the lower-tier term life offering, with coverage starting at $50,000 and going up to $1 million. Coverage is available for individuals aged 18 to 80.
  • Pacific Elite Term: This is the higher coverage option, with coverage available from $700,000 to $3 million+. Coverage is available for individuals aged 18 to 75.

Group Whole Life Insurance

Pacific Life’s whole life offering is only available as a group life policy as an employer benefit. This is a type of permanent life insurance that can accumulate cash value which can be borrowed against or accessed early with optional riders. These policies have a guaranteed cash value and level premiums throughout the life of the policy.

You will need to check with your employer’s human resources or benefits department to find out if they offer Pacific Life insurance. 

Universal Life Insurance

Pacific Life’s universal life policies are a type of permanent life insurance. They offer flexible premiums and coverage amounts as well as the ability to accumulate cash value. The cash value in these policies accrues interest and can be borrowed against tax-free. There are also several available riders on these policies, further customizing coverage. 

The Pacific Life universal life policies offer a no-lapse guarantee, meaning that coverage cannot be canceled as long as premiums are paid.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Pacific Life offers indexed universal life insurance that accrues cash value that can earn interest based on the performance of a market index, such as the S&P 500. These policies offer the growth upside of the stock market but have downside protection by providing a guaranteed minimum interest rate. 

Indexed universal life policies are similar to regular universal policies, offering flexible premiums and the ability to update your coverage amounts, but they also provide the ability to grow your cash value at a higher rate.

Variable Universal Life

Pacific Life offers variable universal life insurance, which is the most flexible type of permanent life insurance available. Policies offer flexible premiums and benefit amounts and also have the ability to invest the cash value of the policy in a wide range of investment options. Policyholders can invest in indexed or fixed account options or fully managed investment portfolios from top fund managers. 

There are also available riders, such as a no-lapse guarantee, to ensure coverage is always in force.

Warning

Variable universal life policies carry a risk of loss, and the cash value invested may go down in value. 

Available Riders

Pacific Life offers access to several riders for their life insurance policies. A rider is an optional policy enhancement that adds additional benefits or custom coverage options to the insurance policies. 

Rider fees are typically billed as a small percentage of the policy premium, or as a flat annual fee. Fees vary by policy, product, and options selected.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider

The accelerated death benefit rider allows the insured to access a portion of their death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying critical, chronic, or terminal illness. Any accelerated benefit taken from the policy will reduce the overall death benefit.

Disability Waiver of Premium Rider

If you become permanently disabled and are unable to work, you may be eligible to have your premiums waived.

No-Lapse Guarantee

This rider guarantees coverage on permanent life insurance policies from four years to lifetime coverage. This keeps a permanent policy in force regardless of health status through the insured’s lifetime.

Accidental Death Rider

This rider pays out an additional death benefit in the event your death or an injury is caused by an accident.

Children’s Level Term Rider

This rider offers level-term life insurance for your dependent children. Coverage is available to children aged 15 days to 18 years old. Benefits up to $10,000 are available, and policies can be transferred to the child or converted to a permanent life policy when they reach 18 years old.

Customer Service: Limited Options

Pacific Life only offers support over the phone or standard mail, which limits the options available to get help with your plan. There are also a few select regional offices around the U.S. for in-person support. Claims can be started online.

Pacific Life Insurance’s customer service business hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m ET. Clients can reach support by calling (800) 800-7646.

Note

Pacific Life Insurance does not offer live chat support online.

Customer Satisfaction: Very Few Complaints

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, Pacific Life only received one formal complaint in 2020. While an average complaint score is 1.0 (the lower, the better), Pacific Life received a 0.11 score.

This score was identical in 2019, and only slightly higher in 2018, scoring a very low 0.14. This is very rare for an insurance company its size and shows Pacific Life’s commitment to excellent customer service.

J.D. Power also ranks companies based on customer satisfaction, and it ranked Pacific Life at 7 out of 23 life insurance companies in the U.S. in their 2020 Life Insurance Study. This customer satisfaction rating is based on its application and orientation (on-boarding process), communications, interaction, price, product offerings, and statements.

Financial Strength: A+ (Superior)

Pacific Life Insurance is a very strong financial company with an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best. This rating is based on Pacific Life's very strong balance sheet, strongest level risk-adjusted capitalization, diversified operating profile, liquidity resources, and history of positive earnings trends. 

Good financial stability and a high rating from AM Best give customers confidence that their policy benefits will be paid out when they make a claim. 

Cancellation Policy: 30 Days

Most states require a minimum free-look period (usually 10 days) to cancel insurance policies for a full refund. Pacific Life offers a more generous cancellation policy, offering a 30-day option to cancel any life insurance policy for a full refund.

After the 30-day policy has ended, cancellation terms will vary between life insurance policies. Term life policies can be canceled at any time, but will not provide a refund of premiums paid, but permanent life policies are more complicated. 

While whole and universal life policies may provide a surrender cash value refund, there may also be surrender charges or other fees to cancel. You will need to contact your insurance agent for exact cancellation details.

Price of Pacific Life Insurance: Not Available Online  

Pacific Life Insurance policy quotes are not available online. Term policies typically have the lowest cost coverage, as they are temporary life insurance that only carry a death benefit. Pacific Life’s whole life policies are only available through employers, so prices will vary based on your employer benefits selected.

Universal life policies will carry larger premiums, but they also cover the insured for a lifetime; they accumulate cash value that can earn interest and can be borrowed against tax-free.

How Pacific Life Insurance Compares to Other Life Insurance

Pacific Life Insurance offers quite a few policy options for nearly every age and a selection of riders to customize policies for your needs. While prices are not available online, Pacific Life does have fantastic customer service ratings and over $1 trillion in policies in force, meaning many individuals select Pacific Life over the competition for life insurance.

While Pacific Life has a great reputation, here's how it compares with another top-rated life insurance company.

Pacific Life Insurance vs. State Farm Life Insurance

Both Pacific Life and State Farm are highly ranked by J.D. Power and AM Best and receive very few formal complaints according to the NAIC. Both companies offer term and permanent life insurance policies with a variety of riders available. But while State Farm offers multiple policy discounts for current customers, Pacific Life instead offers annual dividends to lower insurance premiums.

Here are a few key differences between Pacific Life and State Farm:

  • State Farm offers online quotes for term life policies.
  • Pacific Life is a mutual insurance company, returning excess profits to policyholders.
  • State Farm offers final expense and survivorship life insurance, while Pacific Life does not.
  • Pacific Life has regional offices around the country for in-person support.

While Pacific Life offers a large selection of universal life policies for ultimate flexibility, State Farm has some of the lowest rates for term life insurance around and is rated number 1 by J.D. Power.

Read our full State Farm Life Insurance review.

  Pacific Life Insurance State Farm Life Insurance 
Market Share Twelfth-largest in the U.S., 2.30% Seventh-largest in the U.S., 2.87%
Number of Plans  8
Online Quotes Available?  No  Yes (term life only) 
Service Method  Phone, in-person  Email, phone, in-person, social media
AM Best Rating  A+ (Superior)  A++ (Superior) 
Complaints Index  0.11 (excellent)  0.19 (excellent) 
Final Verdict

Pacific Life offers high coverage term life policies and a wide range of universal life policy options. It shines when it comes to customer service and policy flexibility, receiving some of the best scores available from NAIC and J.D. Power.

Pacific Life does not offer online quotes, making it difficult to compare prices with other top life insurance companies. It also does not offer an individual whole life or final expense policy, so if you are seeking those options, you will need to look elsewhere. Overall, Pacific Life is a top-notch life insurance company worth considering for term or universal life policies.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of life insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s offerings, customer service, financial stability, cost, and more. For each company, we compared the life insurance products offered, as well as available features, and reported customer experiences. Visit our life insurance review methodology for the full breakdown of what we evaluated for over two dozen companies.