Rob Stock has an article on financial products you can live without. I hope he's right about all of them, and at first glance I agree. Having said that, sometimes people's circumstances are such that they don't have the luxury of the choices that others have. You can read his article at this link - it's worth a look, and only a two-minute read. His principles are bang on: these products are expensive work-arounds for problems which can generally be solved with a cheap behavioral solution called 'budgeting'. But there is some complexity hidden behind that. Some people can't budget. Some people can, but are lower than the bottom rung in terms of resources. Take payday loans. In an ideal world no-one would ever use these. But this isn't an ideal world. For some people, deciding today what to do, if the car is broken, and needs fixing an overpriced payday loan can do it. The alternative may mean losing your job. Better planning would help, so might better public transport, but that's back in an ideal world, and maybe you're standing in the mechanics workshop trying to make a quick decision before calling a cab to get to work. Low-cost health insurance plans and funeral benefits have similar use cases.