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Pacific Life Insurance Review 2019

Jan. 2, 2019
Insurance, Life Insurance
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At a glance

  • NerdWallet ranking: No. 2 life insurance company.
  • Scores about average for customer satisfaction.
  • Offers a wide range of life insurance policies.


Founded in California in 1868, Pacific Life offers life insurance, annuities and investment products to individuals and businesses. The company sells term life insurance and a broad selection of permanent policies, including life insurance that can provide long-term care benefits. Pacific Life is a top seller of universal life insurance, a type of permanent policy. Life insurance quotes are not available through the company’s website.

» MORE: The best life insurance companies

Take care of what matters most

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Find out more about each element that goes into our Pacific Life insurance review by clicking below.

NerdWallet rank: 2nd

Pacific Life ranked No. 2 out of the 20 best life insurance companies as scored by NerdWallet. The ranking is based on a composite score, which takes into account the company’s A.M. Best financial strength rating, J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores and the number of complaints against the company to state regulators, adjusted for market share. NerdWallet scores the largest national life insurance companies that sell policies to individuals.

A.M. Best financial strength rating: A+ (superior)

Pacific Life’s financial strength is “superior,” according to ratings firm A.M. Best. Financial strength is important because it indicates an insurance company’s ability to pay claims. That’s crucial for life insurance because a claim might not be made until decades after a policy is purchased.

Consumer complaints: Better than the median

Pacific Life drew significantly fewer than the median number of complaints about individual life insurance to state regulators in 2017, compared with life insurance companies of its size.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners calculates a “complaint ratio score” for insurance companies, which is based on the number of complaints to state regulators, adjusted for market share. The median score is 1, and a score of less than 1 means fewer complaints. Pacific Life Insurance Co., which issues policies in every state except New York, had a complaint ratio score of 0.02 for individual life insurance. Pacific Life & Annuity Co., a subsidiary that issues policies in New York, had a score of zero because it had no complaints.

J.D. Power ratings: About average

Pacific Life ranked ninth out of 23 life insurance companies evaluated for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2018 Life Insurance Study. Pacific Life scored “about average” in all five categories.

Customer satisfaction category Pacific Life's score
Overall satisfaction"About average"
Billing and payment"About average"
Price"About average"
Policy offerings"About average"
Interaction"About average"

More about Pacific life

Types of life insurance soldOther products & services
  • Term life.
  • Universal life.
  • Indexed universal life.
  • Variable universal life.
  • Life insurance with long-term care benefits.
  • Whole life for workplace benefit plans.
  • Annuities.
  • Mutual funds.
  • Pacific life coverage options

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

    Two types of term life: With level-premium term life, the annual price stays the same for the entire term. Terms of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years are available. With annual renewable term life, the policy can be renewed each year, and the price increases annually.

    Universal life and variable universal life policies: A wide selection is available, including survivorship policies. With survivorship life insurance, a couple can be insured on one policy. The death benefit is paid after both people die. Pacific Life is the top U.S. seller of nonvariable universal life insurance, according to Wink’s Sales & Market Report.

    Life insurance with long-term care benefits: These policies double as long-term care insurance and life insurance. 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 after the insured person dies.

    Whole life insurance for businesses: Pacific Life offers whole life insurance for workplace benefit plans.