Pacific Life Insurance Review 2022

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Pacific Life Insurance
NerdWallet rating 

Bottom line: With high marks from consumers, lots of information available online and a wide range of policies, Pacific Life is a good option for many shoppers.

Policies offered: Term, permanent & no-exam.

Financial strength: Exceptional.

Complaints: Far fewer than expected.

Buy online? No.

In our life insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Policies offered. There are many types of life insurance on the market, and they fall into three key categories:

  • Term life insurance offers temporary coverage and a guaranteed payout if the policyholder dies during the term.

  • Permanent life insurance typically lasts a lifetime and builds cash value that can be borrowed against in the future.

  • No-exam life insurance issues coverage without the need for a medical exam.

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. For life insurance, NerdWallet typically recommends considering insurers with ratings of A- or higher. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Exceptional: A+, A++

  • Strong: A, A-

  • Moderate: B+, B

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best life insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Buy online. This indicates whether an insurer allows you to apply for and buy a policy completely online.

Founded in California in 1868, Pacific Life offers life insurance, annuities and investment products to individuals and businesses. Pacific Life sells term life insurance and a broad selection of permanent policies, including life insurance with long-term care benefits. Pacific Life also sells indexed universal life insurance, a type of permanent policy. Life insurance quotes are not available through Pacific Life’s website.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure the content on our site is accurate and fair, so you can make financial decisions with confidence and choose the products that work best for you. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money.

Pacific Life insurance


NerdWallet rating 

Pacific Life earned 4.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Based on these ratings, Pacific Life is among NerdWallet’s Best Life Insurance Companies.

Pacific Life insurance pros and cons



Drew significantly fewer complaints than expected to state regulators for a company of its size.

Select policies are not available in New York.

Ranked above average in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study for life insurance.

Quotes are not available online.

Pacific Life insurance policies

Life insurance products vary by state, but Pacific Life generally offers:

Term life insurance. There are two types of term life insurance policies to choose from. With the company’s Promise Term, you can convert all or some of your death benefit to a new universal life insurance policy at any point before you are 70 years old. Policies are available in 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year terms, and you can customize your coverage with various riders such as an accelerated death benefit. The company’s Elite Term lets you convert your policy to a cash value life insurance policy up to 10 years after its start date. It is available in 10-, 20- and 30-year terms.

Universal, variable universal and indexed universal life insurance. Pacific Life is a top U.S. seller of indexed universal life insurance. A wide selection is available, including survivorship insurance, which covers two people — typically a couple — under one policy. The death benefit is paid after both people die.

Life insurance with long-term care benefits. These policies can help you pay for long-term care, should you need it. The death benefit is reduced if the policy is used to pay for long-term care. If no long-term care benefits are drawn, the policy pays the full death benefit.

Whole life insurance for businesses. Pacific Life also offers whole life insurance, but only through workplace plans.

Pacific Life customer complaints and satisfaction

Over three years, Pacific Life has drawn significantly fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Additionally, Pacific Life ranked 4 out of 21 companies in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Life Insurance Study for overall customer satisfaction


More about Pacific Life insurance

You can download consumer guides on almost all Pacific Life policies via the company’s website. Payments for policies can be made online. You can also access and download life insurance forms to make adjustments to your policy, such as changing a beneficiary or updating your address.

Pacific Life sells other products and services, including annuities, mutual funds and commercial real estate investments.

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Life insurance buying guide

Before you start comparing companies, choose the type of life insurance you want, such as term or whole life. Decide which life insurance riders, if any, you want the policy to include. Calculate how much life insurance you need and how long you want the coverage to last. Check that the insurers you’re considering offer the coverage you’re looking for.

When comparing rates, be sure the quotes are for the same amount of coverage over the same period of time. It’s also important to make sure the policy’s medical requirements match your needs. For example, if you want to skip the life insurance medical exam but don’t mind answering health questions, confirm that the application process for each policy you're comparing aligns with that.

Price may not be the biggest driver behind your decision to buy. Look at the number of consumer complaints each company receives, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service.

For more guidance, see our life insurance buying guide.

Life insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on consumer experience, complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance, and weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims. Within the consumer experience category, we consider ease of communication and website transparency, which looks at the depth of policy details available online. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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