Three in ten of the major earners in the UK's families have no life insurance, putting their families at serious financial risk if they were to die unexpectedly.
Those without cover included both mortgageholders and people whose earnings support their wives and children.
And 20 per cent of those without cover would not reconsider their decision under any circumstances, a new survey by Norwich and Peterborough Building Society (N&P) reveals.
"Although no one likes to think about what might be round the corner, it is very important to make sure your family could survive without your income and would be taken care of financially," said Judith Dove, head of financial advice service at N&P.
"How would your family cope without you and your income? How would they pay the mortgage, the electricity bills, your children's education costs or all the other day-to-day expenses?" she added.
Of those without any type of protection, one in four would take out cover if it was less expensive, and one in five would reconsider their position if they got married, or had a family.
One in eight would move to protect their family in the event of their death if they were thinking about buying or had bought a house, but - somewhat surprisingly - just seven per cent would be prompted by an accident or the death of a loved one.
N&P adds that when thinking of taking out cover it is important that your insurance policy matches your needs.
"Bear in mind there are differences in the cost and quality of products. We'd recommend talking to an independent financial adviser to find out which type would suit individual circumstances. It's important to understand an individually-tailored solution, combined with regular reviews to take changing circumstances into account, is the best route to take," Ms Dove concluded.