Pacific Life Insurance Review

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Pacific Life Insurance, founded in 1868, is one of the oldest insurance companies in the country. A fiscally sound company with an A1 rating from Moody’s and an AA- rating from Standard & Poor’s, your policy will be there if your family needs it because the company has a long, successful history.
Pacific Life Insurance specializes in life insurance and related products and focuses on customers who want premium coverage. Pacific Life has captured 2.9% of the individual life insurance market.

Best For

  • Customers who want a life insurance-focused buying experience
  • Those who have excellent credit


  • Focused on life insurance
  • Wide range of policy types, coverage options and riders


  • Wide selection can be confusing
  • Many policies better suited to corporate life insurance or high net-worth individual needs
  • Little online customer service
see how Pacific Life Insurance compares

Are you buying a new house? Just had a baby? Significant life events might prompt you to look into purchasing life insurance. Buying a life insurance policy can have a big impact — it can protect you and your family against a worst-case scenario. 

Start with our Pacific Life insurance review to compare coverage and decide if Pacific Life is your best fit. 

Who’s Pacific Life Insurance for?

Pacific Life offers multiple types of life insurance policies. The company is a great option if you want to: 

  • Replace a spouse’s income upon your death
  • Pay off a house, credit card debt or a child’s education
  • Have a savings vehicle with your policy
  • Build a relationship with a broker or agent — not just a website
  • Choose among several types of life insurance products

Pacific Life Insurance Products

Pacific Life sells a variety of life insurance products and can give you more choices than companies who don’t specialize in life insurance. A life insurance policy would give you a lump sum payment to your beneficiaries upon your death. These payments are generally tax-exempt, though you will be taxed on any interest that you earn. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of Pacific Life’s life insurance products:

  • Indexed universal life insurance. This policy includes a death benefit coverage combined with indexed cash value returns. Returns are index-based, which means that they’re tied to a stock market index. Policyholders are guaranteed against losses, so you will make some money on the policy.
  • Variable universal life insurance. Variable universal life insurance also has death benefit coverage and cash value. Returns are market-driven, though you can select a policy with a minimum return and you can pick from a range of investment options.
  • Universal life insurance. This type of insurance pays out a death benefit, has the potential for cash value growth and guaranteed minimum interest rates. Policyholders can add flexible riders and coverage options.
  • Whole life insurance. A cash value life insurance policy with death benefit coverage and fixed premiums, whole life insurance pays minimum interest rates and has value when the policy ends.
  • Term life insurance. Term life insurance means you make fixed payments for coverage that lasts for a specified term, such as 10, 20 or 30 years. The policy has no value when it expires and beneficiaries only receive value if you die while the policy is in force. 

Focus on Term Life: Pacific Term Life Options

Term life insurance protects your loved one, business or estate for a set time. Common coverage length is 15, 20 or 30 years, but you can buy both shorter- and longer-term policies. The intent for these policies is to protect your spouse or children from financial hardship if you pass away while you owe on a mortgage or while your kids are young.

Term life premiums have no value when the term expires, so you’ll receive no cash back from the premiums you’ve paid. Premiums are less expensive than whole life insurance, particularly if you purchase your policy when you’re younger and in good health.

Pacific Life’s term life options vary by state. For example, you can buy a 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year policy in Minnesota. But you can only buy a policy which renews annually in New York. Find out what Pacific Life sells in your state.

Available Discounts and Tips on Getting the Best Rates

Pacific Life Insurance only sells life insurance, so you won’t receive a bundled or multi-policy discount by combining it with home or auto insurance.

Life insurance companies factor in lifestyle choices when they quote your insurance rates. Living a healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to get the best rates. Here are some ideas that can impact your rates: 

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight 

Pacific Life Insurance Coverage Selections

Pacific Life also has some additional coverage selections. Pacific Life doesn’t require a medical exam for policies with a benefit up to $249,999. Pacific Life also sells a few other coverage options to give you more flexibility in your policy.:

  • Living Needs Benefit rider. This rider allows you to accelerate your life insurance if you become disabled. It allows you to draw on the benefit for medical or non-medical expenses and won’t deduct unpaid premiums from your death benefit.
  • Accidental death benefits. This option provides additional protection if your death is accidental. That way, Pacific Life can pay out double or triple the amount of the policy.
  • Child rider. A child rider can also be added to give you peace of mind that you could cover medical bills and funeral costs if your child dies.    

Over time, the industry has developed a few other related products that can protect your future, including annuities and mutual funds. 

  • Annuities are savings vehicles that guarantee rates of return. You purchase an annuity for a lump sum upfront, such as $20,000. In exchange, you’ll receive fixed, monthly payments once you begin drawing on your annuity during retirement. Annuities can be variable or have a fixed rate and earnings are tax-deferred. Some investment advisors warn that they sometimes return less than stock market investments.
  • Mutual funds are bundled groups of stocks. When you purchase a mutual fund, you invest in several companies all at once, but your risk is reduced because they’re aggregated.

Pricing and Value

Life insurance premiums are based on the following:

  • Age when you apply
  • Health history
  • Overall health
  • Coverage and payout
  • Optional riders

A policy that pays out a high death benefit and includes disability and other riders will cost you more than a simple $100,000 death benefit. Younger applicants pay into the risk pool longer before drawing on it, which lowers their premiums.

You can pay a lower premium if you select less coverage and a smaller payout amount when you price out a life insurance policy. Doing so could leave you uninsured, which defeats the purpose of buying life insurance.

How will you know how much life insurance you’ll need? Add up all your debt, such as your mortgage, car loan and credit cards. At a minimum, your coverage should pay off all outstanding debt, but you’ll also want to consider income replacement. This gives your loved ones a cushion to live on when your income is gone.  

Pacific Life doesn’t disclose any information about its average premiums — you must apply for a quote. Reviews on Consumer Affairs and elsewhere indicate that Pacific Life’s premiums are higher than some competitors. Pacific Life may not offer the cheapest policies, so if cost is a factor, check out our list of Cheap Life Insurance Companies.

Customer Service

Customer service for Pacific Life is primarily handled over the phone or through your agent or broker. You can apply, update beneficiaries and change your address online but you can’t change payment information or cancel without calling the company. An added downside: There’s no direct email listed.

Unsure of how to buy life insurance? A Pacific Life broker can help walk you through the process and select the amount of coverage you need, though self-driven insurance buyers could find this to be inconvenient.   

Claims Support

You’re likely to be grieving when you need to file a life insurance claim. You want a company that will be sympathetic and easy to work with and you may need the company to pay out quickly to cover funeral expenses.

You can call Pacific Life at 800-347-7787 on weekdays between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. to file an insurance claim.

Buy Life Insurance to Protect Your Loved Ones

Life insurance policies help you protect your assets and loved ones in the wake of your death. Later in life, a whole life insurance policy could provide retirement income.

Why not get a great policy from a stable life insurance company? Pacific Life ranks in the top 10 insurance carriers for overall customer service satisfaction, according to a survey by J.D Power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I get life insurance without a medical exam?

There are a few options if you want a life insurance policy without a health exam. Take a look at our guide to The Best No Medical Exam Life Insurance to get started. 

Q: How do I determine the financial strength of my life insurance company?

Financial rating companies such as A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s and Fitch regularly evaluate the long term financial strength of life insurance companies across the country. These companies review each life insurance company’s financial balance sheets, business profiles and overall operating performance. The ultimate goal is to determine whether a life insurance company is in a secure financial situation or a vulnerable one.

A life insurance company in a secure financial situation will have a better rating. Alternatively, a life insurance company in a vulnerable financial situation has a higher risk of defaulting on its payout obligations, leaving your loved ones potentially unprotected.

How do you like Pacific Life Insurance?


Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank life insurance. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit our Life Insurance Methodology page.

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