4.2 / 5

Pacific Life Insurance Review

Pacific Life offers competitive rates at every age and solid coverage options for people with heavier builds, sleep apnea, and other lower level health concerns.

Tim TorresJennifer Pan


Tim Torres

Tim Torres

Reviews Expert

Tim Torres is a Reviews Editor at Policygenius. His work has appeared in Computer Shopper, Tom's Guide, and numerous other outlets over the years.


Jennifer Pan

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.

Published November 12, 2020|7 min read

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Pacific Life




    Competitive rates at every age

    High confidence ratings


    No accelerated underwriting

    No online quote tool on their website


Pacific Life offers some of the most affordable rates in the industry and competitive underwriting for people with heaver builds, sleep apnea, and anxiety or depression. However, there may be better options for people with higher-level health conditions .

Pacific Life ranks high 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.


Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.



Consumer confidence based on scores from major financial rating institutions.


Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.


Policy Details

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.


Ease of Application

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.



4 of 5

J.D. Power surveys rate based on product offerings, price, statements, interaction, communication, and application. An overall satisfaction score of 4 denotes a company “better than most".

J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency


An A+ denotes a score between 97 and 100 (out of 100) based on 13 criteria, including unanswered complaints, type of business, and government action.

BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality


A.M. Best ratings range from A++ to D. An A+ rating denotes a "superior" company based on their ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.

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 leading insurance carriers. Though life insurance gets more expensive as you get older, Pacific Life’s rates stay competitive at every age group, including over age 60.

High confidence ratings. Pacific Life has received 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.

The Bad

No accelerated underwriting. At a time when notable carriers are offering faster underwriting and no-med options, Pacific Life is staying traditional. Though their underwriting process is still quicker-than-average, it’s not as fast as being able to completely skip the medical exam..

No online quote tool on their website. Pacific Life’s website is dense with industry jargon and free of useful tools for customers like online quote tools and calculators that could help them figure out what kind of coverage they need. Thankfully, you’ve got Policygenius here to help you out with individualized quotes and answers to your questions.

The Breakdown


Average monthly premium cost for a predetermined applicant profile and common health conditions.


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.

Below you’ll find sample rates for a healthy, non-smoking male applying for a $500,000, 20-year term policy compared to the industry average across different age groups:


Based on the sample profile of a healthy, non-smoking male applying for a $500,000, 20-year term policy. Rates current as of November 2020, according to Policygenius data.

Pacific Life’s term life insurance is best for the following groups:

  • People with heavier builds

  • People with anxiety or depression

  • People with high cholesterol

  • People with sleep apnea

So, for example, if you're a relatively healthy male who is six feet tall and weighs 240 pounds, you will receive better rates with Pacific Life than with other carriers.

However, there may be cheaper options elsewhere for former smokers.


Consumer confidence based on scores from major financial rating institutions.


When you purchase a life insurance policy, you’re setting up a financial safety net for those who depend on you. So you want to make sure that your chosen carrier is a trustworthy, financially sound company that’s guaranteed to be around when you need them.

Founded in California in 1868, Pacific Life has been in business for over 150 years and provides coverage to nearly 3 million customers. They’ve earned high ratings from three major credit rating firms: A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. These agencies measure the financial strength of companies to see how well they can meet the needs of policyholders.

  • Year founded: 1868

  • A.M. Best: A+

  • Moody’s: A1

  • Standard & Poor’s: AA-

A.M. Best focuses specifically on the insurance industry. They give Pacific Life a “superior” A+ rating, one of the best grades possible from the credit rating firm. This basically means Pacific Life can fulfill customer obligations. Carriers with a B grade or lower are more vulnerable to risk.

Bond credit rating agency Moody’s gives Pacific Life a score of A1. That’s a good rating. It means Moody’s holds a positive outlook for Pacific Life.

And credit analysis firm Standard & Poor’s hands Pacific Life an AA- rating, meaning its ability to meet financial obligations is considered very strong. Companies are rated on a scale from AAA to D. The higher the rating, the more likely a company is to pay its debts.

Third-Party Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.


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

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

  • Better Business Bureau: B-

  • Consumers Advocate: n/a

  • Consumer Affairs: n/a

  • NAIC complaint index: 0.09

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) bases its company rankings on truth in advertising and their ability to resolve customer complaints. They give Pacific Life an B-.

Consumer Affairs lets consumers directly review companies, while Consumers Advocate rates companies based on stability, reputation, and policy coverage. Neither have a page dedicated to Pacific Life’s life insurance offerings.

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 0.09 means there was a tiny number of complaints submitted to state insurance departments.

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Policy Details

Availability of such options as term length and no-med-exam availability.


Pacific Life has two term life insurance policies available, as well as multiple universal, variable universal, and indexed universal policies. Pacific Life also offers annuities and long-term financial planning products, but they are outside the scope of this review.

Term life insurance

Term life policies provide life coverage for a specific period of time, also known as the term. Usually terms last at least a decade. At the end of the term you can either convert to a permanent policy or renew your term life insurance. However, when you renew, your rates usually increase.

Of the two term life policies offered by Pacific Life, we recommend the Promise Term product for its affordability, variety of term lengths and riders, and low starting amount.

Promise Term

This is a pretty standard term life policy that can be enhanced with a variety of riders. Premiums stay level, and at the end of the term you can either renew your policy (and face increased rates) or convert to a permanent policy.

This is not a guaranteed issue policy, nor is it a policy with accelerated underwriting, meaning applicants will have to answer questions about their medical histories during the application process — and undergo a medical exam. There are no options from Pacific Life that allow you to skip the med-exam.

Policy FeaturePromise Term
Eligible ages18 to 80
Term lengths10-, 15-, 20-, 25- or 30-year terms
Coverage minimum$50,000
Coverage maximum$1 million

Eligible ages are split up by term length and by tobacco use. 10-year terms are for applicants aged 18 to 80, whether they use tobacco or not. 15-year terms are for ages 18 to 75 (70 for tobacco users); 20-year terms for ages 18 to 65, whether they use tobacco or not); 25-year terms for ages 18 to 60 (55 for tobacco users); and 30-year terms are for ages 18 to 55 (50 for tobacco).

Between the amount of term lengths, low coverage minimum, and riders on offer, Pacific Life customers have a fair amount of flexibility to work with. Policyholders can use the variety of riders to turn a basic life insurance policy into something that covers more circumstances.

Available riders

  • Accelerated death benefit rider. Allows you to receive a portion of the death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness. This rider is provided for no extra charge.

  • Child protection rider. Provides life insurance coverage for all eligible children, ages 15 days to 18 years old. Coverage can go up to $10,000.

  • Disability waiver of premium rider. If you become totally disabled as a result of a qualifying event then you will not have to pay premiums for a fixed period of time. This rider can last for the life of the policy but will terminate once the insured turns 65.

As usual, some of the above riders are subject to additional charges and selection depends on the state in which they’re available.

Temporary coverage

Pacific Life provides temporary coverage of up to $1 million between the time of when the application is submitted and when the policy is activated.

Policy conversion

This policy is convertible to a permanent policy at the end of the term or to age 70.

Rate reconsideration

Pacific Life does allow for the reconsideration of your premiums, in case your health condition improves after your policy is initially activated. When you can reconsider your rates depends on a case-by-case basis. Smokers will have to wait one year.

Pacific Elite Term

This is a standard term life policy with a death benefit that gets paid out in the event of the insured’s death.

Pacific Elite Term Details



Eligible ages are split up by term length. 10-year terms are for applicants aged 18 to 75; 20-year terms for ages 18 to 65; and 30-year terms are for ages 18 to 50.

Policy FeatureElite Term
Eligible ages18 to 75
Term lengths10-, 20-, or 30-year terms
Coverage minimum$750,000
Coverage maximum$3 million and over

At the end of the term, premium rates will increase annually if you select to continue your policy.

Available riders

  • Terminal illness rider. Allows you to receive up to 75 percent of the death benefit if diagnosed with a qualifying terminal illness.

  • Disability waiver of premium rider. If you become totally disabled before the age of 65 then you will not have to pay premiums. There is a 180-day waiting period before this rider kicks in.

Policy conversion
You can convert to a permanent policy at the beginning of the term and up to 10 years after the policy is issued.

Permanent life insurance

Pacific Life offers many permanent life insurance policies, although we suggest most shoppers opt for the above term life products. The whole life option, Flex 16, is meant for employer-provided coverage. And the multiple universal life insurance policies are simply too complicated and expensive to recommend. Still, we’ve provided a few details below.

Flex 16 Details



This is a whole life policy meant for employers to give to their employees. It comes with a fixed premium, a death benefit that’s paid to the policyholder’s beneficiaries, and conversion rider in case the insured wants to replace their policy.

Universal Life Insurance Details



There are two universal life policies available from Pacific Life: Versa-Flex Venture UL and PL Promise GUL. The latter includes a lifetime no-lapse guarantee rider, which basically means you can extend coverage if you pay higher premiums.

Generally, universal life policies are confusing are not worth it for most people. They include a cash value that can be used to pay towards your premiums, and also adjust your premiums and death benefit at any point based on your financial situation.

That may sound nice and flexible, but it’s not worth it unless you’re extremely wealthy. Most people are better off with a term life policy and a regular savings account if they want to accumulate cash over time.

Indexed Universal Life Details



Pacific Life’s indexed universal life products include Pacific Discovery Xelerator IUL 2, Pacific Indexed Accumulator 6, Pacific Discovery Protector IUL, and Pacific Indexed Estate Preserver 3.

They all have flexible premiums and cash value accumulation that is tied to stock market indexes like S&P 500 or Nasdaq. The Preserver 3 policy provides a death benefit for married couples.

Like regular universal life insurance, indexed universal is too complex and expensive for most people. Unless you’re a business owner, or you need to transfer large amounts of wealth such as an inheritance, there’s little reason for most customers to look into indexed universal life policies.

Variable Universal Life Details



Pacific Life offers a few variable universal life policies in Pacific Select VUL 2 and Pacific Select Harbor VUL. They each offer flexible premium pricing tied to market gains (or losses) and a cash value component you can link to an investment option of your choice.

If you’re wealthy and want greater control over the financial protection of your beneficiaries, you may want to look into variable life insurance policies. Otherwise, we recommend most people choose a term life policy and a traditional 401(k) or IRA separate from their life insurance.

Ease of Application

Ease of use, convenience, online tools, and availability.


Since Pacific Life offers a variety of products, individual shoppers will have varying experiences with them. The following information is based on the Promise Term term life insurance policy.

Application process

Since Pacific Life doesn’t offer accelerated underwriting or no-med options, those applying for the Promise Term policy will have to go through the standard underwriting, which involves scheduling and undergoing a medical exam. You will also have to answer questions related to your medical and prescription histories. You can find out more by talking with a licensed Policygenius expert over the phone.

Turnaround time

Promise Term customers can expect to wait three to four weeks for a decision regarding their application. That’s shorter than average, and there is temporary coverage available should you need it. On average, life insurance policies take around six weeks from application to active policy.

Policy delivery

Pacific Life customers receive their policies electronically.

More Info



State availability

The Promise Term policy is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Pacific Life’s other products may not be available in all states.

Change method

Pacific Life customers can make the following changes online:

  • Update payment details
  • Change contact details including address, email, and phone number
  • Change beneficiary
  • Change owner of the policy
  • Change name in case of marriage or divorce
  • Obtain change other forms

To cancel a policy, customers must mail in a form.

Payment methods

Pacific Life has an online account page where you can connect a bank account and pay bills automatically. You can also update your details online and request direct billing.

Digital tools

Besides the online account page and claims filing there are no digital tools to speak of. There are no quote tools or calculators on the Pacific Life website. However, you can use the Policygenius site to receive your own individualized quote.

Claims documentation

You can start a claim online or over the phone. You’ll also need to provide the death certificate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Pacific Life offer online quotes?

There’s no online quote tool on Pacific Life’s website, but you can receive one through Policygenius. Promise Term applicants can also receive a personalized quote by calling a Policygenius agent.

Do I need to take a medical exam?

Most likely, yes. Since Pacific Life’s Promise Term product uses a standard underwriting process, you will most likely have to schedule and undergo a full medical exam to be qualified for the policy.

What are the main health conditions that Pacific Life covers?

Pacific Life benefits a number of low-level health concerns, including people with heavier builds, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, sleep apnea, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and gastrointestinal issues such as ulcerative colitis, ulcerative proctitis, and Crohn’s disease.

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.

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