Taking out life insurance is not a main priority for many Australians, with almost half saying that it is too expensive, according to new research by life insurer TAL.
In a survey of more that 1200 people, 47 per cent of people living in households where the main income producer doesn't hold life insurance said they could not afford to take out some form of personal cover.
Another 17 per cent said they believed health insurance provided the same type of cover, while 13 per cent didn't consider life insurance unimportant.
This was particularly true of 18 per cent of respondents, who said they had no immediate family to protect.
TAL Group chief executive Jim Minto said the findings were a major cause for concern, particularly when a number of respondents said they found this type of cover "too complicated and hard to understand" (8 per cent) or didn't know the reason for not taking out cover (13 per cent).
"Life insurance is essential, not a luxury that people should let go of easily," he said.
There were gender and generational differences in the survey results, with more than three times as many men than women saying that their plans for a long and healthy life reduced the need for life insurance (15 per cent versus 6 per cent).
Half of people aged 18 to 24 said life insurance was too expensive, 29 per cent said they hadn't "thought about it" and 23 per cent cited sufficient superannuation as a reason for not getting insurance.
Minto said the industry needed to do more to educate Australians on the benefits of life insurance and how it differs from other types of insurance and government support.