Although life insurers were not considered the “usual suspects” when it came to the mortgage default swap and resultant toxic assets debacle, they are now being accorded attention by the U.S. Treasury Department, which, according to Wall Street Journal reports, will be extended the opportunity to participate in the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) program.

The long-tail business culture of life insurers’ investments, many of which are in bonds, real estate and other similar investments, earns them the Treasury’s notice.

The decision by the Treasury to add a third industry to banks and auto companies already taking advantage of TARP funds is not surprising, according to experts, because the life insurance industry is considered an important piece of the U.S. financial system.

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