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Pacific 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: 3.5 / 5


  • 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 $1,000,000


Depends on policy

Medical Exam Required


Free quote Phone
Policy options Term, Whole, Universal, Variable Universal, Indexed Universal
Term lengths 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Monthly cost $20.31/ $17.00
Claim methods Phone: 800-347-7787
Available states All states
Customer support Phone: 800-347-7787, Online
Riders Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider, Child rider, Conversion rider, Critical illness benefit rider, Disability income benefit rider, Guaranteed insurability rider, Long-term-care rider, Spouse rider, Term insurance rider, Waiver-of-premium rider

Expert review

Katia Iervasi

Review by

Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics 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 mix of term and permanent policies, and it specializes in universal life insurance.

  • Term life insurance. Pacific Life offers term life policies with both fixed and adjustable premiums over 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years. You can opt for no medical exam policy if you’d prefer to skip the traditional underwriting process, or an annual renewable term policy if you’re not sure how long you need coverage.
  • Whole life insurance. This permanent policy offers lifelong coverage and steady premiums. It also builds cash value at a fixed rate set by the insurer.
  • Universal life. The insurer offers three standard universal life policies, all of which come with flexible premiums and death benefits.
  • Variable universal life. There are three options on offer, including a survivorship policy. All policies offer flexible premiums and death benefits, and the cash value is invested into a portfolio of subaccounts.
  • Indexed universal life. With this policy, the cash value is tied to the performance of an index, like the S&P 500 — meaning it has the highest potential risks and returns.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

You may be able to customize your coverage with these riders:

  • 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 insurance cost?

To get an idea of how much you might pay in premiums, here are sample rates 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 doesn’t disclose the eligibility requirements for its preferred rates.

Generally, you’ll need to be in prime health and meet these guidelines:

  • 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 insurance


  • 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.

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Pacific Life insurance 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 two 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.

How do I apply for Pacific Life insurance?

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 with Pacific Life?

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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