So apparently today is some sort of life insurance day! There are posts all across the blogosphere, including from Money Q&A, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Centsible Life, Budgets are Sexy and Add Vodka.
So I'll throw my 2¢ in as well, because why not?
I ignored all the advice about life insurance until we bought a house. I figured I didn't need it, because I didn't have any dependents or any major debts that would need to get paid off upon my death. I just signed up for whatever supplemental life insurance my company offered (this usually costs about $1 per paycheck) and figured that would be a nice little bonus to leave my family. Originally, my beneficiary was my sister, and then after I got married, I switched it to Peanut.
Peanut didn't have any life insurance, through work or otherwise, until we purchased a house. I started crunching numbers and realized that I didn't want to have to afford the mortgage by myself, so I requested that he get both life and disability insurance that would cover that and more besides, as a gift to me. Which he did. He is comfortable with the amount of supplemental life insurance and long term disability that my company offers, so we didn't purchase more insurance on me.
This is probably where we're going to stay for the indefinite future. If I were to quit my job or be in a position that didn't offer life or disability insurance, we would look into nominal policies for me. We will not purchase life insurance on any kids that we have. We prefer to try to self-insure as much as possible (emergency funds, living within our means, paying off debt, and leading a healthy lifestyle) and we're pretty secure with where we are.
I have to recommend Insurance for Dummies as a GREAT resource for insurance questions of all kinds. (No affiliation, no affiliate links - I just found that to be a really helpful book!)
Do you have life insurance? Do you think you need it?