Pacific Life Insurance Review

Multiple life insurance products at an affordable price

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Pacific Life

Pacific Life

Our Take

Pacific Life offers multiple life insurance plans with reasonable premiums and optional riders for further customized benefits. Although customer service is mainly available only by phone, it remains highly rated and continues to earn the company accolades year after year.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview 
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • More than 150 years of experience

  • Multiple insurance products

  • Excellent customer service

Cons
  • No online quotes available

  • Limited availability within New York

  • Medical exam required

Key Takeaways
  • Pacific Life offers five plans at affordable pricing for a variety of life insurance products.
  • It receives top scores for financial reliability and customer satisfaction. 
  • Be prepared to connect by phone, because Pacific Life does not offer online quotes.
Company Overview 

Pacific Life made its home in California in 1868. Today, it is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, although support remains mainly limited to phone and some in-person support at U.S. regional offices. Its website provides a detailed accounting of the company’s most impressive statistics. Pacific Life is a company with $191 billion in assets that has made $8.25 million in charitable donations to local communities. There are just shy of 900 members that collectively hold $1.2 trillion in life insurance coverage. 

Geographical Restrictions

Pacific Life is available in most regions of the U.S. However, there is limited availability in New York, and some policies not available for residents. The company offers a disclaimer for its services, saying, “Not all products and services described are available in all states of the U.S. or the world.”

  • Year Founded 1868
  • Kinds of Plans Term life, universal life, indexed universal life, variable universal life insurance, whole life insurance (employer group plans only)
  • Number of Plans 5
  • Payment Plan Options Phone, limited online options
  • Customer Service Toll-free (800) 800-7646, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time
  • Official Website www.pacificlife.com

Pacific Life is not one of our top-rated life insurance companies. You can review our list of the best life insurance companies for what we think are better options.

Pros Explained

  • More than 150 years of experience: Pacific Life has been around since 1868. This means that unlike the newer kids on the block, this is a company that has many decades’ worth of experience and expertise to help guide your life insurance goals.
  • Multiple insurance products: With Pacific, there are several types of insurance products that you can choose from, in addition to available investment products
  • Excellent customer service: Pacific Life receives top-notch scores from AM Best for financial stability, along with above-average rankings from J.D. Power for customer satisfaction.  

Cons Explained

  • No online quotes available: Pacific Life does not offer any kind of online quoting system, so this may not be the company for you if you don't want to conduct your business by phone. You will have to call the toll-free hotline during business hours in order to receive a quote or contact customer support.   
  • Limited availability within New York: Pacific Life does not offer many of its products within the state of New York.
  • Medical exam required: Pacific Life does not allow policyholders to skip the medical exam requirement. That means you will need to visit the doctor before you are eligible to purchase a life insurance policy from Pacific Life.   

Available Plans

Pacific Life offers several life insurance plans. Policyholders can choose from policies that include universal, indexed universal, variable universal, whole, and term life insurance.  

Note

Pacific Life insurance plans begin around $30 per month.

Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Indexed universal life insurance is a type of cash-value life insurance that offers a tax-free death benefit. Cash value protection means your plan accumulates index-based cash value without any of the associated index-based losses. You can receive interest based on major stock market indexes, excluding dividends, and not lose out on any negative growth. Your policy will just be assessed the normal policy fees, withdrawals, and other distributions

Variable Universal Life Insurance

A variable universal life insurance policy can be best for the flexibility it offers. It offers cash value based on market growth. It’s more of a stress-free vehicle, too, as proceeds are sheltered by Pacific Life’s death benefit protection. Plus, policyholders can enjoy guaranteed minimum-interest credit rates with multiple variable investment options for accumulating cash value. 

Universal Life Insurance

Pacific Life’s universal life insurance plan is based on current interest credit rates. It also guarantees the minimum interest credit rates. There are flexible premiums to offer greater affordability. Policies also include Pacific’s signature death benefit protection, plus the ability to add on several riders as needed.

Whole Life Insurance

A whole life insurance policy with Pacific Life means fixed premiums, so you know what to expect each month. It takes the guesswork out of your life insurance policy with guaranteed minimum interest credit rates and a guaranteed death benefit. Products vary by state but generally include the Flex 16 option for Pacific Life’s fixed-premium, interest-sensitive whole life insurance.  

Term Life Insurance

Term life insurance includes Pacific Life’s death benefit protection at a term of your choosing. This is one product that especially varies by state, so be sure to check what options are available for your home region. In Florida, for example, there are the options of the Promise Term or Pacific Elite Term available within 10- to 30-year increments.   

Available Riders

Pacific Life Insurance offers a selection of riders to further customer your plan. Pacific Life’s available insurance riders include:

Child term insurance

You can purchase a life insurance policy for your child with Pacific’s child term insurance plan.

Extended benefit

This is Pacific Life’s life insurance plan with long-term care benefits, but options vary by state.  

Annual renewable term 

Also known as ART, an annual renewable term rider ensures that you can renew your policy for a set number of years to come. 

Accidental death benefit

The accidental death benefit is an additional benefit that can be paid out to your beneficiary should your death be the result of an accident.

Customer Service

Pacific Life offers limited customer service support to its customers, skipping the live chat and online support options that are common with other providers. Instead, customers have the option of phone support via the toll-free hotline at (800) 800-7646. Customer service support is available between the weekday hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Time. There are also regional offices available in select states.

Pacific Life is also the recipient of financial marketing firm DALBAR’s 2019 Insurance Service Award.

Be aware there are no online quotes or chat support for those who prefer using technology for their needs.

Complaint Index 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports customer complaints via an overall complaint index score. While the median score is 1.00, Pacific Life rates well below at 0.11 in 2020 for the second year in a row in its overall complaint index. It’s an improvement since 2018, when the score then was also low at 0.14 total. These make for very impressive scores, given other companies in the industry. 

Third-Party Ratings

In addition to its impressive NAIC score, Pacific Life boasts high scores from other industry rating experts. 

Pacific Life receives an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best for financial stability, signaling that it can be relied upon for speedy payment and attention to claims. For customer satisfaction, J.D. Power ranks Pacific Life with an above-average score of 776 out of 1000. Although companies like State Farm and Nationwide rate higher, Pacific Life receives better scores than other industry heavyweights, such as MetLife, Prudential, and Guardian Life

Cancellation Policy 

Canceling a life insurance policy is easy. Just contact your agent for assistance to be walked through the process. Pacific allows the opportunity to cancel without charge and without penalty within the first 30 days of your policy. After that, cancellation is still possible but any premiums paid thus far are considered non-refundable. Other penalties may apply to whole or variable life insurance products. 

Price

Policies start at around $30 per month and increase from there, depending on which plan you choose. With five plans, it gives you room to find the right life insurance plan at a price you can afford. There are plans that range in length, giving you another opportunity to find affordable life insurance even when you are on a limited budget. Pacific uses specific rate factors that affect the cost of your life insurance quote, using factors like your age, health, family medical history, and your driving record. Gender is another factor that can impact policy pricing, and this is where Pacific Life shines.   

Pacific Life was noted in a 2019 spotlight for clarifying its policies transgender insurance applicants. The company reaffirmed its stance on gender for life insurance policies, referred to one’s sex at birth instead of their current gender identity at time of application. 

In a letter sent to the NAIC, Pacific Life explains, “Gender; is a fluid concept while ‘Sex’ refers to genetic sex at birth. Using ‘Sex’ enables insurers to apply traditional underwriting practices that are based on the insured’s or proposed insured’s genetic sex at birth.”

Competition

To understand how Pacific Life stacks up against other providers, we compare its services to New York Life, the largest life insurance provider in the U.S. Pacific Life is more of a niche provider, serving about one-third of New York Life’s market share, and offering half of the life insurance plans. Despite this, Pacific Life offered $3 billion in 2020 dividends, compared to New York Life’s total of $1.9 billion.

There are special incentive programs on some Pacific Life policies, a feature that New York Life does not offer. It falters slightly in its financial stability, still earning an impressive A+ (Superior) ranking that pales just slightly in the shadow of New York Life’s A++ (Superior) rating. However, Pacific Life also receives fewer customer complaints than New York Life, making it a better choice if it has the policy that you need.

  Pacific Life Insurance New York Life
Market Share 12th largest in U.S., 2.3% Largest in U.S., 6.75%
Number of Plans 5 10
Dividends for 2020 $3 billion $1.9 billion
Wellness Program Discounts/Quit Smoking Incentives On select policies Not applicable
Service Method Phone, agents Agents
AM Best Rating A+ (Superior) A++ (Superior)
Price Rank Better than most Better than most
Complaints Trend 0.11 (Excellent) 0.15 (Excellent)
Final Verdict

Pacific Life offers a robust selection of affordable life insurance plans with optional riders for additional customization. However, this is a company for those who prefer to handle their business by phone as online support options are not available.

Methodology

At Investopedia, we use a unique, proprietary review methodology to evaluate available market providers. Our team performs an in-depth analysis of the leading life insurance companies today to determine the best life insurance carriers for 2021. We study several critical features, such as coverage options, rider protection, affordability, market share, and customer service.

We look to leading industry experts to provide the latest rankings and scores for the leading insurance providers in the U.S. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and J.D. Power assess customer satisfaction, while AM Best provides a clear portrait of a company’s financial stability with its grade-based rating system. We also consider what available resources each company offers its policyholders in order to develop a big-picture review.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. NAIC. "Pacific Life." Accessed May 6, 2021.