As the author CS Lewis once put it, 100 per cent of us die.

But this statistic seems to be lost on many Australians, with too many bread winners punting on longevity, leaving them underinsured when it comes to supporting their families if they suddenly die, a new survey shows.

A survey by new financial services website found that 40 per cent of respondents said their families would be left on the brink of financial disaster if they were to suddenly die or be left incapacitated.

Artog general manager Kevin Sherman said the results are cause for serious concern.

With out of control mortgage repayments, petrol prices and general living costs already putting many families close to living on the bread line, a sudden permanent change in family income would be devastating for many Australians, both financially and otherwise, he said.

It is extremely important for all income earners to ensure they have adequate income protection and life insurance to make certain their family is not exposed to a financial crisis in the event of an unforeseen tragedy.

The survey of 2,495 people found that the majority of respondents were underinsured, with 79 per cent expecting to receive more than $500,000 if they were incapacitated by blindness, while 40 per cent expected a payout of $1 million or more.

However, the average standard life insurance payout for a total and permanent disability, such as blindness, stands at only $300,000.

Mr Sherman said many people neglect to take out income or life insurance because of a lack of awareness and understanding about the cost of comprehensive cover and what it includes.

Many people believe income protection and life insurance is too expensive, and it can be if you don't shop around, he said.

He said using the free services of a broker, such as Artog, will help customers compare cover options and track down the most suitable insurance product with the lowest premium.