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8.0 / 10

Pacific Life Insurance Review

Pacific Life offers competitive rates at every age and excellent coverage options for people who have either a personal or family history of cancer.

Jennifer Pan

Jennifer Pan

Published November 21, 2019

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Pacific Life




    Competitive rates at every age

    Excellent options for people with a personal or family history of cancer

    High confidence ratings

    Shorter-than-average application length


    Higher rates for former tobacco users

    Policyholders can’t update information online


Pacific Life offers some of the most affordable rates in the industry and competitive underwriting for survivors of cancer and people with a family history of cancer. However, there may be better options for former smokers and people with high blood pressure.

Pacific Life is number 3 on Policygenius' list of the best life insurance companies, based on cost, financial confidence, third-party customer ratings, life insurance policy options, and ease of application.







Customer Ratings



Policy Options



Customer Experience




3 of 5


J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency



BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality



A.M. Best

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry


The Details


The Good

Competitive rates at every age. Pacific Life offers some of the most affordable term life policies among the nation’s leading insurance carriers. Though life insurance gets more expensive as you get older, Pacific Life’s rates stay competitive at every age bracket, including over age 60.

Excellent underwriting for cancer survivors. Along with your age, your health status will significantly affect the cost of your life insurance premiums. While many insurance carriers look at a personal or family history of cancer unfavorably in the underwriting process, Pacific Life offers very competitive rates for survivors of certain types of cancer and people with a family history of cancer.

High confidence ratings. Pacific Life, founded in 1868, is one of the leading insurance companies in America, with over 2.9 million customers. They have high scores from three major credit rating agencies, which means they’re a trustworthy, financially stable company that’s likely to be around when you need them.

Shorter-than-average application length. Pacific Life’s standard application form is shorter than average so you'll be able to read through it and understand it quickly. They also offer an electronic application and will deliver your policy by email.


The Bad

Higher rates for former tobacco users. Every insurance company’s underwriting process scores various medical conditions differently. Compared to other insurers, Pacific Life’s rates for former smokers and other former tobacco users are on the higher end. Pacific Life’s rates also tend to be higher for people with high blood pressure.

Policyholders can’t change their information online. While some insurers allow policyholders to do things like update their address, payment information, or beneficiaries online, Pacific Life requires a phone call for these changes. You’ll additionally need to submit a paper form if you want to cancel your policy.


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The Breakdown




The cost of a life insurance policy depends on several factors, including your age and your health. Though buying insurance will always be more expensive the older you are, Pacific Life offers cheaper-than-average rates at every age, even past age 60.

Take a look at the table below for a comparison of Pacific Life’s rates for a healthy, non-smoking man applying for a $500,000, 20-year term policy at different age brackets:

AgePacLife averageIndustry average

Pacific Life also offers favorable underwriting for certain health conditions, including sleep apnea and high cholesterol. Unlike many other insurers, they also offer excellent coverage options for people who have survived cancer or have a family history of cancer.

Note, however, that there may be cheaper options elsewhere for former smokers or people with high blood pressure.

Health conditionPricing
Survivor/Family HistoryExcellent
Recent Weight LossGood
Heart AttackGood
Sleep ApneaExcellent
Former Tobacco UseFair
High Blood PressureFair
High CholesterolExcellent
  • Excellent - Above average; company provides excellent coverage for clients with this condition.
  • Good - Spot on; company doesn’t look at this condition unfavorably in underwriting.
  • Fair - Could use some work; clients with this condition may be issued a lower health rating, and subsequently higher rates than other insurers.




When you purchase a life insurance policy, you’re setting up a financial safety net for your dependents in the event of your death. That means you’ll want to ensure that your insurance carrier is a trustworthy, financially sound company that’s guaranteed to be around when you need them.

Pacific Life has been in business for over 150 years and currently provides coverage to over 2.9 million customers. They’ve earned high ratings from three major credit rating firms:

  • Number of policyholders: 2,900,000
  • Year founded: 1868
  • Standard & Poor’s: AA- (Very strong)
  • Moody's: A1 (Good)
  • A.M. Best: A+ (Superior)

Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and A.M. Best are financial ratings companies. These firms look at the financial strength of companies as a measure of how well they can handle future financial strength and meet the obligations of policyholders.

The highest ratings from each firm are:

  • Standard & Poor’s: AAA
  • Moody’s: Aaa
  • A.M. Best: A++

Customer Ratings



A life insurance carrier’s financials are only part of the story. You’ll also want to make sure their customers are happy with the service they’re receiving, and that the company is responsive to any customer inquiries or complaints.

Here’s how Pacific Life ranks with several bureaus that measure customer satisfaction:

  • J.D. Power: 3 / 5
  • BBB: A-
  • Consumer Affairs: 3 / 5
  • Consumers Advocate: 4.5 / 5
  • NAIC complaint index: 0

J.D. Power scores are based on customer ratings for overall satisfaction, clarity and usefulness of annual statements and billing, price, policy offerings, and interaction experience. Policygenius has used the overall satisfaction score as part of our rating method.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) ranks companies across a large swath of criteria. While consumers can submit ratings to the BBB, these scores are not taken into account in their rating, although tangential metrics that take into account customer experience are.

Consumer Affairs is a platform that lets consumers directly rate customers, while Consumers Advocate rates companies based on stability, reputation, and policy coverage.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks the number of complaints submitted to state insurance departments with their national complaint index. A score of 1 is the baseline average, and a score of 0 means there weren't enough complaints to count.

Pacific Life’s NAIC score of 0 means the number of confirmed complaints submitted to state insurance departments in 2018 were not enough to register on the index.

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Policy Options



Term life policies provide life coverage for a specific period of time (the term).

Pacific PROMISE Term

Key details
Annual payment discount2%
Available payment methodsCheck, auto bank draft
Temporary coverageUp to $1,000,000

Policy conversion

The policy is convertible until the earlier of the end of the term or to age 70.

Available riders

Riders are additions to your overall life insurance policy that turn a basic life insurance policy into something that covers more circumstances.

  • Child Protection Rider - Provides life insurance coverage for all eligible children. Covers all current & future dependent children (ages 15 days - 18 years old) in one rider. Available coverage of $1,000 - $10,000.

  • Disability Waiver of Premium Rider - If you become totally disabled as a result of a qualifying event, you will not have to pay premiums for a fixed period of time (after a 180 day waiting period). Rider is for the life of the policy. This will terminate at the insured's attained age 65 or upon termination of this rider, if sooner.

  • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider - Allows you to receive a portion of the death benefit if you are diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness.

Customer Experience



Overall, Pacific Life provides a solid customer experience, but shoppers looking for availability of online tools after the policy becomes active may find it lacking.

Application process

State availability

Pacific Life’s PROMISE Term policy is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Application length

The application length for Pacific Life is shorter than average.

*Based on standard application. Additional forms may be required.

Turnaround time

Pacific Life has a slightly shorter-than-average turnaround time from application to active policy.

Change method

Pacific Life requires a phone call to make changes to your policy — including updating your beneficiaries or payment information — and a paper form to cancel the policy.

  • Online: Policy delivery
  • Phone: Update address, update beneficiary, update payment information
  • Mail: Canceling policies

Payment methods

Pacific Life accepts payment by check and auto bank draft.

Policy delivery

Final policy delivery is available electronically.

Claims documentation

Pacific Life requires the beneficiary of a policy to submit the following forms in order to claim a death benefit:

  • Death certificate
  • Copy of policy
  • Claim form

Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.

Insurance Expert

Jennifer Pan

Insurance Expert

Jennifer Pan is an insurance editor at Policygenius. She covers life insurance, personal finance, and the economy. She previously worked in marketing and communications in the nonprofit sector and publishing.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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