There is no doubt that the effect of a death or serious illness on close relatives can be made very much worse if it brings with it financial difficulties, at a time when you may feel least able to deal with them.
The reality is that there are almost always financial consequences for the family if a person dies or for the individual and family if suffering a serious illness. This is fairly self-evident when a person earns a living that the family depends on. Their death will preclude further earnings while a serious illness can prevent further earnings or reduce earning capacity.
Even if a person does not work for a living there are still likely to be financial consequences in the event of that person dying or suffering a serious illness. Non-workers, while not earning an income, are likely to provide essential services for the family or look after young children. These services cost money to provide and financial protection is therefore required to ensure the well being of the family unit.
For many people, the first experience of protection is when they take out a mortgage. The mortgage debt tends to focus the mind on the issues that would arise if the debt were not repaid on death or if serious illness led to a reduction in earning capacity.