When individuals check term life insurance rates, they usually assume they will qualify as a preferred risk. However, it is possible that people with perfect health will not qualify as preferred. Let's take a look at some situations that make obtaining preferred life insurance rates difficult, if not impossible.

1. A high ratio of bad cholesterol (LDL) to good cholesterol (HDL): Even when someone has a total cholesterol that may fall in every life insurance company's preferred guidelines, the ratio may cause the individual to be a standard risk. Ratios over 6:1 usually do not qualify as preferred.

2. Hobbies: A private pilot in perfect health might not even qualify for standard life insurance rates and may end up being rated by many life insurance companies.

3. Immigration Status: A new immigrant in the U.S. without a permanent visa will not qualify for preferred rates with many life insurance companies.

4. Driving record: Too many speeding tickets will cause an applicant to be a standard risk, or worse, with many life insurance companies.

Many times, the life insurance companies listed as the lowest cost plan for preferred will not be the lowest cost for the applicant when the final underwriting is over. What should you do to make sure there will be no disappointment in the purchase of life insurance?

1. Choose an agent that represents many life insurance companies. All agents listed at the BudgetLife Web site work with many life insurance companies.

2. Make sure that the agent you deal with asks you enough questions to see if you will qualify for preferred rates with any of the life insurance companies on the database.

3. Don't be afraid of standard life insurance . It is more important to get the life insurance you need, even if on a standard basis. If your health improves, you may qualify for preferred rates in the future. However, if your health deteriorates, you still have the standard life insurance coverage.

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Richard A. Eisenberg is a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant. He has been serving clients since 1970. Find more articles here or visit his Web site