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Pacific Life Insurance review 2023

Updated Mar 09, 2023

At a glance

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Bottom Line

Policyholders who value universal life insurance options, term life insurance riders and excellent customer service over a mobile app might find Pacific Life a good choice for their life insurance needs.

  • High customer satisfaction as shown through third-party scores

  • Extensive rider list

  • AM Best financial strength rating of A+ (Superior)

  • Online quotes are not available

  • No guaranteed acceptance life insurance offered

  • No mobile app

What’s new with Pacific Life?

In December 2022, The Pacific Life Foundation pledged to donate $2.5 million to various conservation organizations over the next five years to help improve ocean health.

Pacific Life insurance

Bankrate conducts an extensive annual insurance study to help our readers choose the carrier that can meet their individualized needs. Based on our assessment, customers who prioritize customer service and rider options could find Pacific Life to be the best life insurance company for them. However, due to the company’s lack of mobile app, those who prefer digital policy management might have better options.

There are two main types of life insurance for individuals — term and permanent — and Pacific Life offers both:

  • Term: Pacific Life has two term options: Promise Term and Elite Term. Promise Term can be purchased for 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year terms. Elite Term is available for 10, 20 or 30 year terms, has a 75-year-old age limit and a potential coverage limit of over $3 million.

    Term tends to be the cheapest type of life insurance and includes a death benefit that pays out to your beneficiaries if you should die before the end of the term. Term life insurance is a popular option for families with young children. Many people carry term life insurance while their children are young to leave behind some financial protection in case they pass away while their children are still dependent.
  • Permanent: Unlike term policies, permanent policies are intended to cover you for your entire life. Sometimes called cash value insurance, the term “permanent policy” is really a bucket term for a few different kinds of life insurance, including whole, universal, variable universal and indexed universal, all of which Pacific Life offers except for whole life insurance. In addition to a death benefit, permanent life insurance comes with a savings function that may grow in value over time, which you could also borrow against.

    Permanent life may be a good choice for those who are willing to pay more for the peace of mind that their policy will not expire (as long as they pay their premiums).
    • Universal: Universal policies have flexible premiums, and you can increase or decrease your death benefit while the policy is active. Universal policies can grow over time as the company invests the cash value portion of your policy in its portfolio. Pacific Life has two types of universal policies: Versa-Flex Venture Universal Life (UL) and PL Promise Guaranteed Universal Life (GUL).
    • Indexed universal: Like regular universal policies, indexed universal policies have flexible premiums and death benefits. However, rather than investing the cash value portion of your policy in its portfolio, the company invests it into fixed index stocks and options. The cash value of this policy can go up or down, and there are caps on how much you can earn. Pacific Life offers up to seven different types of indexed universal policies. Due to the complexity of this product, it may be a good idea to contact the company directly if you have further questions.
    • Variable universal: Variable universal is similar to indexed universal, although the cash value of this policy is invested in the stock market and can be capped. Pacific Life offers three types of variable universal life insurance policies, and like indexed universal, it may be best to contact a life insurance professional for further guidance.

Since Pacific Life offers so many types of life insurance with different coverage capacities and features, you might want to figure out how much life insurance you need by using a life insurance calculator.

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Pacific Life insurance endorsements

Although adding an endorsement— or rider — to your policy may increase your life insurance cost, endorsements can be an excellent way to personalize protection to meet your individual needs and financial goals. Pacific Life offers a plethora of endorsement options, including:

Pacific Life tools and benefits

In addition to its extensive life insurance offerings, Pacific Life offers a range of annuities, including variable, fixed, fixed indexed, immediate and deferred income annuities. Annuities may provide a reliable income stream in retirement, and are often popular with those planning for their golden years.

Pacific Life customer satisfaction

The best life insurance companies offer more than just affordable premiums. Instead, they also focus on providing excellent customer service. To evaluate this, Bankrate studied third-party scores issued by J.D. Power and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), along with the company's financial strength rating issued by AM Best.

In the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Individual Life Insurance Study, Pacific Life scored higher than the industry average of 774, with an overall customer satisfaction score of 793. This earned Pacific Life fifth place out of the 22 companies evaluated.

To understand Pacific Life's NAIC Complaint Index Score, first, you should know that the NAIC tracks the complaints it receives about insurance companies and the lines of insurance those companies offer. It then converts these complaints into a complaint index score. If a company has an average amount of complaints for a company of its size, it will have a complaint index score of 1.0. A score higher than 1.0 means that the company gets more complaints than average, and a lower score indicates fewer complaints.

That said, Pacific Life's Complaint Index scores are impressive. The company's overall Complaint Index score is 0.04, with only 16 complaints in total. The score specifically for Pacific Life life insurance also doesn't disappoint at 0.12 (with 10 life insurance complaints). This data could indicate that customers are generally happy with the company's service.

Finally, although financial strength might not be directly correlated to a company's customer service, it does measure a company's historical ability to pay out claims when needed. A company that doesn't have the means to pay claims quickly and fairly probably does not have very satisfied customers. AM Best has granted Pacific Life insurance with a financial strength rating of A+ (Superior). This solid financial strength rating may help customers rest assured that, at least in the past, Pacific Life had enough reserves to fulfill their duties in paying out death benefits.

How to file a claim with Pacific Life

Letting your beneficiary know what to expect when they file your life insurance claim might help relieve some stress from what may be an emotional time. One of the first things you may want to do is to tell your beneficiary where they can find your policy documents. Then, your beneficiary can contact Pacific Life and provide some basic information, such as your name, policy number, date of birth, date of death, the circumstances around your passing and funeral home information. Following this, Pacific Life will provide forms for your beneficiary to complete, and your beneficiary will probably need to submit a copy of your death certificate.

When your beneficiary is ready, they can initiate the claims process with Pacific Life by:

If your beneficiary has questions during the process, they can contact customer service by calling 1-800-347-7787.

Pacific Life availability

Pacific Life writes life insurance policies in 49 states, but is not available in New York. However, not all products may be available in all 50 states. If you’re wondering whether a certain type of life insurance is available in your state, you can check the company’s dropdown list found on each of its product lines, or contact a financial professional directly.

Other Pacific Life perks worth considering

Aside from life insurance, annuities and mutual funds, Pacific Life offers other perks for its policyholders, including:

  • Insights blog: Pacific Life’s Insights blog provides a wealth of information regarding retirement planning, life insurance, financial literacy, estate planning and more.
  • Online portal: Policyholders can make claims, payments and access forms through Pacific Life’s online portal.
  • Mutual funds: Mutual funds are another investment tool that are available with Pacific Life.
  • Business succession planning: Pacific Life can help business owners lay out a plan for their business after they pass away.

Pacific Life corporate sustainability

Pacific Life seems to be strongly dedicated to corporate sustainability through its many initiatives. It promotes diversity in its workforce, and in 2022, it earned a 95 on the Corporate Equality Index issued by the Human Rights Campaign. Additionally, it has a strong philanthropic presence in its home office communities in California, Nebraska and Virginia, where it donated $8 million in charitable donations in 2022 alone.

Environmental issues are also at the top of Pacific Life’s priorities. To date, Pacific Life has given $17.1 million towards marine mammal and ocean health conservation. Additionally in its home office in Orange County, California, Pacific Life has decreased water consumption by 41 percent, decreased electricity consumption by 33 percent and decreased natural gas consumption by 69 percent.

Although Bankrate’s Pacific Life Insurance review is comprehensive, you might still be wondering if this is the carrier that can meet all of your needs. If you’re still comparing life insurance quotes, you might want to consider reaching out to some (or all) of the companies below:

Pacific Life vs. State Farm

State Farm won the 2023 Bankrate Award for best term life insurance, namely due to the company’s high customer service satisfaction and digital tools. Since Pacific Life does not offer a mobile app, State Farm could be a good alternative for those who prefer to take a hands-on approach to their insurance.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Pacific Life vs. MassMutual

MassMutual is another 2023 Bankrate Award winner, but this company earned this distinction because of its whole life insurance products. MassMutual boasts an impressive list of rider options, coverage capacity and a financial strength rating of A++ (Superior) from AM Best.

Learn more: MassMutual Insurance review

Pacific Life vs. Nationwide

Along with term, whole, universal and variable life insurance, Nationwide also offers car and home insurance, which could appeal to those who prefer to keep all their insurance policies under the same roof.

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Is Pacific Life a good insurance company?

Life insurance is a complex product, but Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has more than a decade’s worth of time in this industry. We take pride in using our real-world experience and knowledge to help our readers make the best decisions regarding their life insurance coverage and financial goals.

If you’re wondering if Pacific Life is a good insurance company, the answer here is: it depends. Every person comes to the table with different circumstances, so one company may be better for one than it is for others. Based on its many universal policy options and term life riders, Pacific Life could be ideal for those who want choices and the flexibility to tailor their life insurance policy to meet their needs. However, online quotes are unavailable, and the company doesn’t have a mobile app, which might not be ideal for tech-savvy shoppers. In the end, you may want to contact a Pacific Life finance professional to discuss what the company can do for you.

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Written by
Carol Pope
Former Writer, Insurance

Carol Pope is a former insurance writer for Bankrate and prior to joining the team, she spent 12 years as an auto insurance agent. During this time, she sold, serviced and underwrote auto insurance for people across the country. She also has experience selling supplement coverage such as umbrella insurance.

Edited by Senior Editor, Insurance