Parents prioritise everyday costs over longer-term financial planning due to misconceptions about affordability, latest research has indicated.
The YouGov survey of 2,014 adults has revealed more than 40% of parents with children under 18 do not have life insurance.
Some 60% of these parents blamed money worries and 21% said their cash is used up on daily costs.
The research, commissioned by Tesco Bank Life Insurance, also found 39% of parents who do not have life cover think it is unaffordable.
Jon Daniels, head of protection at Tesco Bank, said: "We understand the financial and emotional pressures that our customers face when considering how best to protect their families for the future, particularly in the current economic climate."
He said the company can offer parents a straightforward and affordable protection policy.
The research also revealed 37% of parents have not discussed the on-going care of their children in the event of their death.
It added 20% of parents admitted they do not really understand how life insurance works.
Psychologist Honey Langcaster-James said: "Families are using the perceived cost to justify why they do not have the necessary cover in place.
"However the real issue here is not one of cost as the findings above clearly demonstrate."
Calling for new advisers to join
Falls to 2.4%
Spent three years in the role
One of many options being 'kicked around'
Chair since 2014