Life Insurance pays a lump sum upon the death of the life insured to provide protection to your loved ones.
In the event of the persons death the lump sum will assist in paying off any outstanding debts (ie. mortgage) and provide an income for your family so they maintain their current standard of living.
The cost of Life Insurance cover increases as you get older, however the older and more established your financial position is, the less insurance you are likely to need.
Therefore it's possible to reduce your insurance over time to minimise cost but maintain protection for yourself and your loved ones.