UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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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.
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.
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
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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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.