When you buy a new car or even a CD you have the opportunity to sample it prior to purchase. It is this ability to assess the product or in other words its tangibility, which makes the decision to purchase that much simpler.
The process of purchasing Life Assurance could not be more different, there is no means of sampling the product. Indeed it is life assurance in its most basic form, as a benefit payable only on death, you will certainly never personally benefit.
The purchase of life assurance is to give the purchaser "peace of mind". They know that one their death their dependants will benefit from the policy, thus mitigating the financial effect of the demise of the family's principal earner.
Obviously if someone has no dependants or is estranged from their family then the requirement for life assurance may be nullified, but for the majority this product has an extremely valid application.
In similar ways to pensions provision life assurance has greater or lesser application depending on age and circumstances.
To assist the reader I will use a variety of "client profiles" to illustrate the application of various products. But prior to looking at the present, let's consider how life assurance evolved to its present state, by looking at its development through the ages.