U.S. life/health industry net premiums written ticked up 2.6percent to $424.2 billion over nine months. It was the firstincrease for the industry since year-end 2008.

According to a statement released by A.M. Best Co.,admittedassets advanced 4.6 percent to $5.1 trillion from year-end 2009,aided by modest increases in separate account assets.

Capital and surplus, including the asset valuation reserve,continued to experience modest improvement, resulting in a 9percent increase to $338.9 billion from year-end 2009.

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