Pacific Life Insurance review

A solid, reliable performer with some innovative universal life offers

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

There is a great deal to like about Pacific Life: average customer satisfaction scores are the only blip.


  • +

    Wide range of policy options

  • +

    Excellent complaints record

  • +

    Good tools and calculators


  • -

    Average customer satisfaction scores

  • -

    No quotes through the website

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Pacific Life: What you need to know 

Like many US life insurance providers, Pacific Life was founded in the middle of the 19th century, when life - if not insurance - was considerably cheaper than it is today. Founded in California, the business is now a large nationwide provider with a wide network of agents. Pacific Life offers one of the widest selections of universal life and variable universal life policies we’ve come across, designed to suit a wide range of circumstances.

The business does reasonably in JD Power customer satisfaction rankings, and attracts very few complaints to state regulators. The business donated $7 million last year to charities and community projects.

Pacific Life: Features 

  • Good selection of policies
  • A policy that pays for long-term care if required 
Key features

Information support: Online information hub

Customer support: Telephone, email support and social media

Interface: Browser

Pacific Life offers annuities and mutual funds in addition to life insurance, but it is no jack-of-all-trades financial services company. Its specialism in life insurance is demonstrated by the long list of options on offer.

It provides term life policies of 10, 15, 20 and 30 years, which are split into two types. Pacific Life’s level-premium product keeps premiums the same for the life of the policy. Its annual renewable option means you renew every year and the price rises when you do.

In terms of universal life policies, Pacific Life offers a variable universal policy, allowing you to adjust your policy’s investment allocations to meet your own growth objectives and risk tolerances. Meanwhile, indexed universal life insurance “offers the growth potential of index-based interest crediting rates and the protection of guaranteed minimum interest crediting floors.” Its survivorship policies mean a couple can be insured on the same policy.

We liked Pacific Life’s life insurance with long-term care benefits. This allows the policy to be used for long-term care, with the death benefit reduced as a result. 

Pacific Life: Interface and usability 

  • Good website 
  • Plenty of useful tools and calculators 
  • No quotes through website 

Pacific Life’s website, as is the norm, is packed with pictures of smiling couples and families in various life stages. That’s pretty standard stuff for the sector, but the site is clean, uncluttered and easy to use. There’s also a nice ‘insights’ section offering solid advice on everything from estate planning to retirement savings tips. It’s not the most comprehensive we’ve come across, though, and you’ll soon exhaust the advice on offer.

There is a very good tools and calculators section, ranging from the standard - how much life insurance do I need? - to the more obscure - how much will inflation reduce my disposable income? We played around in this section for a while and found plenty of food for thought.

One downside for some will be the fact that you can’t get a life insurance quote through the website.

Pacific Life: Verdict 

Pacific Life is a solid, reliable life insurance provider, with an excellent range of policies and a decent record of keeping customers happy.

Its range of universal life policies is especially comprehensive, and it has built up something of a reputation in this sector. We also liked its website tools and calculators.

It misses out on the top spots due to customer satisfaction scores that are decent, but by no means stellar. At the same time, it’s worth remembering that the business attracts very few serious complaints, so you’re unlikely to run into fundamental problems with a life policy from Pacific.  

Hugh Wilson

Hugh Wilson writes about business and the interface of business and technology for a range of titles including The Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, The Times, BBC and MSN. He has written a large number of articles for Top Ten Reviews about insurance matters, accounting, and some business-to-business software and appliances.