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Baby steps in life insurance

The old guard in financial services always said that policy sales were based on fear or greed, so the best way to get someone to buy insurance was to appeal to those raw emotions.

So where do you find the fear or greed in life insurance? Why would anyone want life insurance? Greed cannot apply as the insured would not be around to spend the sum assured, so logically fear must be the key.

A typical advice scenario would be a young couple with a small child living in their own home with some consumer debt and servicing a large mortgage. So long as nothing major goes wrong, all will be well in time, but what happens if one partner dies?