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Pacific Life Insurance Review 2021

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.
June 1, 2021
Insurance, Life Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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Pacific Life Insurance

  • Rated 4.5 stars out of 5 by NerdWallet.
  • Ranked about average in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study for life insurance.
  • 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 with long-term care benefits. Pacific Life is a top seller of indexed universal life insurance, a type of permanent policy. Life insurance quotes are not available through the company’s website.

» MORE: Compare life insurance quotes

Pacific Life Insurance

4.5 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 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 for 2021.

Pacific Life insurance pros and cons

ProsCons
Drew significantly fewer complaints than expected to state regulators for a company of its size.Select policies are not available in New York.
Ranked about 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 policies to choose from. With the company’s level-premium term life, the annual price stays the same for the entire term of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. With the company’s annual renewable term life policy, you can renew your coverage each year, but the price increases.

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 drew significantly fewer than the expected number of complaints about individual life insurance to state regulators for a company of its size, according to NerdWallet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Pacific Life ranked seventh out of 23 companies in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Life Insurance Study.

More about Pacific Life insurance

You can download consumer guides on almost all Pacific Life policies via the company’s website. Payments for select 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.

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.

Methodology: Life insurance ratings

NerdWallet’s life insurance ratings are based on weighted averages of financial strength ratings, which indicate a company’s ability to pay future claims, and complaint index scores from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for individual life insurance. 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.

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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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