How much life insurance do you actually need?

This is important for a couple of reasons. First, you want to make sure you purchase as much as you need. If a more expensive permanent policy means you can only afford to buy less, it's probably not a good idea. After all, the whole point of insurance is to make sure your family has enough to be taken care of financially if something were to happen to you.

How long will you need the insurance?

One of the main reasons that permanent insurance is so much more expensive is that it's meant to cover you for your entire life (hence "permanent" insurance) while cheaper term policies tend to cover you when you're younger and least likely to use it.

Do the tax benefits outweigh the costs?

When you purchase permanent life insurance, part of your premium goes into a cash value account that can grow based on policy dividends, interest, and/or earnings from mutual fund-like sub-accounts. Each policy is different so make sure you understand the particulars of how it works before you buy it (like any investment). The main advantage is that you can borrow from this cash value for things like retirement or education expenses without paying taxes on it.