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Pacific Life life insurance review 2020

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This insurer shines when it comes to universal life insurance — but former smokers can expect high rates.’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0


Get a quote if…

  • You’re looking for a universal life policy that builds cash value and offers the flexibility to change your premiums and death benefit.

Pick something else if…

  • You’re a smoker or former smoker.

18 to 65

Issue Age

$50,000 to $100,000+


Depends on policy

Medical Exam Required


Insurance ProductsTerm, Whole, Universal, Variable Universal, Indexed Universal
Issue Age18 to 65
Coverage Amount$50,000 to $100,000+
Term Lengths10, 15, 20, or 30 years
Medical Exam RequiredDepends on policy
Temporary Underwriting CoverageYes
Customer Service OptionsPhone, Online
Policy Riders OfferedYes

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by

Katia Iervasi is a writer from Sydney, Australia. Her writing — and curiosity — has taken her around the world, and she now calls New York home. With a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

Pacific Life is a long-standing leader in universal life insurance sales. It allows policyholders to customize their coverage with a long list of riders — but it could offer a more seamless digital experience for modern customers.

What types of life insurance coverage does Pacific Life offer?

Pacific Life offers a suite of term and permanent life insurance policies, but it specializes in universal life insurance.

Term life

Pacific Life offers term life policies with both fixed and adjustable premiums over 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. Choose from Pacific PRIME Term (no medical exam), Pacific Perm ART (annual renewal with increasing premiums) and PL Promise Term (fluid underwriting with no rate class restrictions).

Whole life

This cash value life insurance offers death benefit protection with guaranteed minimum interest crediting rates and fixed premiums.

Universal life

Pacific Life offers a suite of universal life options. It promotes many standard policies depending on your location under various names that include Versa-Flex NLG, Versa-Flex PRO II-CV and Pacific Estate Preserver III — each based on your age, health and financial goals.

Variable universal life

Pacific Life offers policies for basic variable universal, cash accumulation, survivorship and asset preservation under the brands Pacific Select Accumulation, Pacific Select and Pacific Select Survivorship.

Indexed universal life

Indexed universal life policies have the potential for greater cash accumulation because they tie a portion of your contract to a market index like the S&P 500. Pacific Indexed policies vary by death benefit, cash accumulation or estate tax preservation.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

Pacific Life allows policyholders to dress up their coverage with common riders, including:

  • Term conversion rider. Gives you the option to convert your term life coverage to a permanent policy before a deadline.
  • Waiver of premium. Waives your premiums for up to six months if you become fully disabled and can no longer work.
  • Accelerated death benefit. Pays out a portion of your death benefit if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness.
  • Dependent children’s rider. Extends your protection to cover a child in your home.
  • Long-term-care rider. Covers assisted living and nursing home costs.

How much does Pacific Life cost?

To get an idea of how much you might pay for your policy, check out some sample quotes below for a 20-year term life policy for an individual in perfect health.


*Based on sample rates from Quotacy

How do I get a low rate?

Pacific Life isn’t as forthcoming as its competitors in disclosing the specific eligibility requirements for its preferred rates.

Generally, you’ll need to be in prime health and meet guidelines that can include:

  • A minimal or no history of tobacco use.
  • No history of alcohol or substance abuse.
  • A personal and family health history free of disease or impairments.
  • A clean driving record — no DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions.
  • Healthy blood pressure and BMI.
  • Low-risk occupation and hobbies.

Call Pacific Life to learn more about how you can land the lowest rates you’re eligible for.

Pros and cons of Pacific Life


  • Specializes in universal life insurance. Pacific Life is best known for it range of universal policies, which earn interest according to the market and suit those with a high risk tolerance.
  • Lenient for those with poor medical histories. If you have a family history of cancer or serious health conditions, you might be able to access cheaper rates with Pacific Life.
  • Financial strength. Pacific Life has an A+ (Superior) rating with AM Best, which means it has the cash reserves to pay out claims


  • No online quotes. You’ll need to jump on the phone to apply for a policy and get rates.
  • Lack of online policy management. You can’t change your address, beneficiaries or other personal information online.
  • Higher rates for former smokers. Pacific Life isn’t as lenient with former tobacco users as some of its competitors.

Compare other insurance companies

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Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
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Pacific Life reviews and complaints

Pacific Life isn’t accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it holds an A- rating for its customer service and interaction. The BBB has recorded just three complaints over the last three years, all of which were promptly resolved by the insurer. Customers award the insurer 1 out of 5 stars, but it’s worth noting these reviews reflect the company as a whole — and not just its life insurance department.

In JD Power’s latest life insurance study on customer satisfaction, Pacific Life ranked ninth out of 22 insurers surveyed. It earned three out of five circles, which points to overall customer satisfaction but means there’s room for improvement.

How does Pacific Life protect my data?

Pacific Life collects your personal information in order to service and manage your account(s) with them. They do not sell your data, nor do they share it with third parties for marketing purposes.
The insurer maintains physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your information, and uses the most up-to-date encryption technology when transmitting your data.

How do I sign up?

To sign up for a policy, you’ll need to contact an independent financial professional. You can find one near you by using the location tool on Pacific Life’s website.

How do I file a claim?

To file a claim with Pacific Life, call an agent at 800-347-7787 weekdays from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m (P.T.). The rep will send you a claims packet by mail, and you’ll need to fill out the various forms and send it back along with supporting documentation, such as a certified copy of the death certificate.

More about Pacific Life

Founded in 1868, Pacific Life is a mutual company that’s made a name for itself as a leader in the universal life insurance space. In fact, Wink’s Sales and Market Report ranks Pacific Life as the number one indexed universal life insurance performer on the market.

The company is also committed to giving back through the Pacific Life Foundation, which supports local charities and communities across the country.

Life insurance aside, Pacific Life offers annuities and mutual funds to help you plan for retirement.

Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.

Learn more about our methodology here.

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