Living your life hoping for the best is a great philosophy and one which more of us should strive to make a daily goal. At least to the point that we do not look for the bad things of life as something that will eventually come to us if we survive long enough. In this mortal life, there is only one alternative to being born. Sooner or later death will come and life insurance cannot prevent that, but it can make the result less taxing for the survivors.
Probably the best example of the need for life insurance would be that of a young father or mother with children who are too young to fend for themselves. The unexpected loss of a major caregiver and their income is a devastating occurrence that thankfully is relatively rare. However, this is something that does happen and the benefit of a life insurance policy may mean the difference in the remaining members of the family unit thriving or finding themselves subjected to misery.
Basically there is two types of life insurance. One is called whole life and the other is term. As the name implies, with whole life you are financially obligated for the majority of your life. With the term insurance you have a predetermined amount of time that your policy is valid and at the end of the term, your benefits disappear.
In my particular situation, I have a wife and two children who are at least 5-10 years from being able to provide for themselves by way of a job. My income is approximately half of what we need to comfortably live our current lifestyle. The interruption of this income would be a serious shock and immediately cause a crisis. That is why I have one of each of the types of life insurance, a whole life policy and a term plan through my employer.
These policies promise to pay my beneficiaries in the event of an unforeseen situation where I am no longer able to provide my part of our requirements for cash. Without this promise, my family only has the hope that nothing happens to me until they can take care of themselves. To me this seems like a reckless choice.
Perhaps some people do not have life insurance because they cannot afford the policies. Economics sometimes dictate the choices we make, but to gamble that you will never need this tool of economics is a reckless choice based on a foolish notion that the majority of people will never need this service.
In short, if you can afford life insurance, it is in your best interest to get it. Do not let your survivors regret your decision when they have to make life changing decisions based on your lack of foresight. Losing the person is enough of a hardship to endure without the risk of placing every other part of their existence in jeopardy.