Pacific Life Insurance Review 2020

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Pacific Life started 150 years ago, in 1868. They were founded in Sacramento, CA by two men, Simon Schreiber and Josiah Howell. They saw a need for a life insurance company based on the west coast, and Pacific Life Insurance company was born. They are a mutual company, so there are owned by their customers, not their investors. They currently manage $171 billion dollars in assets. They are the 4th largest company in life insurance, and first in sales of indexed universal life and universal life insurance sales. 

Pros and Cons of Pacific Life Insurance

– They focus on life insurance
– Offer many life insurance products
– Some policies don’t require a medical exam
– They operate in all fifty states
– Sometimes difficult to tell what the difference is between products
– No online quotes
– No online policy management
– Policies are sold through agents

Products Offered by Pacific Life Insurance

Products vary by state. When you click on more information for a particular type of policy, you’ll be brought to a general information page and you’ll click what state you’re in

Pacific Life offers:

  • Term life
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
  • Variable Universal life
  • Indexed universal life

Term Life: Pacific Life offers two term life insurance policies, PL Promise Term and Pacific Elite Term.

PL Promise Term is available in terms of 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 year terms. You can pay annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly. Coverage is available in amounts from $50,000 to $1 million. 

Pacific Elite Term is available in terms of 10,20, and 30 year level premium terms. Coverage is available up to $3 million dollars. 

Both policies can be converted to permanent life insurance when the term is over (up to age 70). 

In New York State, there is a term insurance option that renews annually. 

Whole life insurance: Pacific Life offers whole life insurance called Flex 16. This is offered only through workplace benefit plans. 

>>MORE: Is Whole Life Insurance Good for Retirement Savings?

Universal life insurance: This provides cash value combined with the flexibility to change your policy amount or how you pay the premiums. Policy availability varies by state. There are four types of universal life insurance products. They vary in the amount coverage offered, and in how you can pay the premiums. 

Variable Universal Life: Most states can choose from two different variable universal life insurance policies. They vary by what investment strategy they endorse, such as long-term growth or small-cap stocks. They also offer guaranteed minimum interest. 

Indexed Universal Life: Pacific life sells more indexed universal life policies than any other insurance company. There are four policies available for most states, including survivorship policies. You can choose your policy based on investment strategy. 

The only life insurance product that they don’t seem to offer is guaranteed universal life insurance.

There are a number of riders you can add onto a policy (not every rider is available for every policy:

Pacific Life also offers annuities, mutual funds, commercial real estate, pension risk-transfer, and retirement planning.

If you’re interested in indexed or universal life insurance, Pacific life could be a good choice. To purchase a policy, you’ll have to be connected to an agent. They have them in all fifty states. The downside is that agents work on commission and prices are usually a little higher. 

>>MORE: Compare Whole Life Insurance with Indexed Universal Life Insurance

Financial Strength Rating of Pacific Life Insurance

A.M. Best rates Pacific Life with an A+ (Superior), with a stable outlook. That is excellent financial stability, so you can rest assured they have the ability to pay claims. 

Customer Satisfaction Rating of Pacific Life Insurance

J.D. Power does a study every year of all of the top life insurance companies. They are rated on a 1,000 point scale, with the median average score being 761. Pacific Life is almost perfectly average, with an overall score of 765. 

The score in the average range almost across the board as well:

  • Overall Satisfaction: 3/5
  • Product Offerings: 3/5
  • Price: 3/5
  • Statements: 3/5
  • Interaction: 3/5
  • Communication: 3/5
  • Application and Orientation: 2/5

Consumer Complaints Rating of Pacific Life Insurance

NAIC calculates a ratio of complaints for major insurance companies. The median average ratio is 1.0, meaning a company receives about as many complaints as you would expect for a company of their size. Pacific life got a .02, which means they have far fewer complaints than you would expect. 

Let’s see what the BBB says.

Pacific Life is not accredited by the BBB. They gave them an A- rating, for failing to respond to one complaint against filed against them. There are only two complaints listed, and four one-star reviews. This is actually really good for a company this big. 

Digital Experience Rating of Pacific Life Insurance

If being able to manage your policy online is important to you, Pacific Life is not your best choice. Not only is there no online quoting, but some policies don’t even qualify for online payments. If your policy begins with 2L or 5L, you can log in and make a payment. If your policy begins with another combination of letters and numbers, you have to pay by EFT (electronic funds transfer) which you have to fill out a form to enroll in. 

You can initiate a claim online. The company does not have an email address, or at least not one you can easily find on the website. If you have a problem, you can call customer service, or your agent. 

They don’t have a mobile app, although you can find them on social media. 

Pacific Life seems a little behind the times with regard to their online experience. 

Last Thoughts

Pacific Life sells a good variety of life insurance products. The company is focused on life insurance, which is nice for people primarily interested in life insurance. They have okay customer satisfaction scores, but not many complaints. As long as you don’t expect stellar service, they’re probably fine. Their online access could use some updating, but they’re a financially strong company and could be worth a look.

Thang Truong
Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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