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Pacific Life Insurance Review & Complaints: Life Insurance

Pacific Life Insurance is a financial company offering a wide range of products including life insurance and annuities. Mutual insurance companies often distribute profits to policyholders by way of dividends or reduced premiums.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Sep 15, 2020

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Pacific Life Insurance
Financial Strength

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Pacific Life is a financial company offering a wide range of products including life insurance and annuities. Founded in 1868, this mutual company is headquartered in Newport Beach, California.

The company was initially founded by Leland Stanford, a California governor and founder of Stanford University. Stanford was also the first policyholder of his newly founded company, and his wife used his policy’s death benefits to pay Stanford University professors after his passing.

In 1885, the company expanded to begin providing accident insurance. It would later merge with Conservative Life, and became a mutual company during the Great Depression.

Today, Pacific Life continues to use the mutual firm model, which means the company is owned by the policyholders rather than shareholders. Mutual insurance companies often distribute profits to policyholders by way of dividends or reduced premiums.

Insurance Products

Pacific Life offers life insurance products to both individuals and businesses. Individuals can select from term or permanent life products sold through various bundles.

Term Life Insurance

Pacific Life term insurance policies come in standard, level term, as well as increasing premium, which they call Pacific-ART.

Level term polices are issued for a specific length of time with a pre-determined annual premium. The coverage amount does not change, and the neither does the premium. Once the term is up, an individual must apply for new coverage or go without.

The Pacific-ART policy is designed for those looking for short-term coverage. Every year the policy is renewable, and the insured has the option of getting a medical exam or not. The rates are recalculated each year, and getting a clean bill of health can keep the cost lower.

Permanent Life Insurance

Pacific Life’s bread and butter is their permanent life insurance products, specifically their universal life plans. They offer a number of different options designed to meet specific needs, and each one comes with life insurance protection as well as an investment component.

It is important for anyone looking at permanent life insurance solutions to understand the underlying product completely. Whole and universal life is heavily sold by life insurance agents across the country because they pay the highest commissions and earn the most money for the insurance companies. They are also extremely expensive compared to term polices. In many cases, they can be 10-20x more for the same death benefit. They are complicated investment vehicles, and they should be studied before simply purchasing based on a life insurance agent’s recommendation.

Why term life is better than whole life

Additional Products

In addition to life insurance, Pacific Life has a wide range of retirement products, such as annuities and mutual funds.

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Pacific Life Price (Rates)

We were unable to obtain a term life insurance quote at the time of this review, so this category will not be factored into the overall rating.


Claims can be filed over the phone by calling the customer service line: 1-800-347-7787,  Monday – Friday, 5am – 5pm Pacific Time.

After calling to make the initial report, you will need to send appropriate documentation to Pacific Life. The exact documentation required will be explained by the customer service representative handling the claim. Once these documents are reviewed and any policy exclusions are ruled out, the death benefit will be released to the beneficiaries on the policy.

Consumer Research and Complaints

Is Pacific Life annuities good? Although Pacific Life Insurance is not accredited on the Better Business Bureau website, it has an A+ rating. There have been only four complaints listed in the last three years, one of which was closed in the last 12 months. Three of four complaints were in regards to product and service and one in advertising/sales.

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Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A+ Stable
Fitch A+ Stable
S&P AA- Stable

Bottom Line

Pacific Life has been around for a long time selling life insurance. They are a nationally recognized company with thousands of agents selling their products across the country. Anyone interested in permanent life insurance products may want to check them out.

Someone in the market for term life insurance will probably want to look elsewhere. Companies that primarily focus on universal and whole life rarely have competitive rates on term policies. Additionally, insurance agents have been known to push individuals into the more costly permanent insurance products, even when a term policy would suffice. There is no specific evidence that shows Pacific Life agents doing so, it is just a common practice in the industry as a whole.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Pacific Life
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.


  1. They are just con men making a fortune selling expensive insurance.

  2. Pacific life gave us a very hard time during our hardest trying times.

    We have paid for our life insurance for a long time.

    when my husband passed away, I would have to hire an attorney just to process my claim.

    I lost a lot of money in the process. I will never recommend Pacific life to anybody.

  3. I have much to say about Pacific Life’s processing of an annuity payment for my deceased mother, but I will wait until I actually have cash in the bank.

    This little exercise has been going on since 11/2018, seven months.

    “Send us these forms and we’ll get it done.”

    Then “Oh, we need another form. By the way, that will take two weeks to receive the form from you (I faxed it!) and another two to get it input into the computer system (REALLY!).”

    If it has to go to Legal Dept, there’s another month’s delay.

    Getting really tired of this non-customer service, especially from one specific employee.

  4. Excellent blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to
    find excellent writing like yours these
    days. I truly appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  5. Why does Pacific Insurance do the RUN AROUND with you concerning an annuity? They are supposed to have mailed out my Annuity payment so I receive it on the 16th. It doesn’t show up so I call, and am told they need a signature( they had it), need current information( they had it), they need some paper notarized(they had it, TWICE), and one excuse after another. When asked for a Supervisor, “you don’t need one Sir”, REALLY??? When I tell them how dissatisfied I am with their so-called Customer Service, their reply is, so?????? They don’t care, they lose too much paperwork(supposedly), act ignorant to all papers mailed, emailed, and faxed. Just the other day, called, asked about the status of Payment, need your paperwork, told them I SENT THAT TWICE ALREADY– FAXED !! Oh, let me check….waited….Oh yes, here THEY ARE IN THE FAX machine. A month later you just now check for the faxed paperwork? Suddenly BOTH appear to have been sitting the in a fax machine? Never had such a sorry company handle such a sensitive matter as my Annuity like these sorry people do. Don’t care attitude, and when you tell them off, they act like THEY are the victims. Poor poor service from the get go!! Why do people keep taking out insurance and annuities with them? Is it just me? NO. I see they are getting only 3 out of 5 stars for being less than stellar, treating customers like crap!! Looking into moving my annuity, which one woman said …”You can’t do that, Sir !!” Why? It’s MY ANNUITY LADY !!
    P.O. with this sorry insurance company.

  6. If Pacific Life is getting into the business of politics then I’m getting out of my insurance with them.
    They should focus on the business of insurance, not politics!

    Maybe they should focus on paying legitimate claims and trying to reduce the number of complaints against them instead of taking sides on the immigration problem that’s plaguing the country!

    I’m canceling my policy on Monday!

  7. Pacific Life doesn’t pay. They are com men stay away, far far away.

    • Why do you say that

    • They don’t honor claims?


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