Life insurance is generally not compulsory in France. If you do wish to take it out, though, make sure you get assurance décès, don’t confuse it with the direct translation of life insurance – assurance de vie – actually refers to a long-term savings programme, usually for retirement.
Those of you who are employed are often automatically signed up for a policy – check with your HR department.
If you speak little French or do not feel confident doing this on your own it is better to get help form a financial advisor as there will be plenty of small print to understand. This is one of those instances where you need to understand each term precisely.