The top 25 life/health insurance writers continue to set the pace for the larger U.S. industry, which saw a 2.6% increase in nine-month net premiums written to $424.2 billion. The increase is the first since year-end 2008, according to A.M. Best, which released its list of Top 25 U.S. Life/Health writers today.

The industry’s total admitted assets grew 4.6% to $5.1 trillion from year-end 2009, helped by modest increases in separate account assets, notes the report. Capital and surplus, including the asset valuation reserve, continued to experience modest improvement, resulting in a 9% increase to $338.9 billion from year-end 2009. An after-tax net operating gain of $26.0 billion was recorded, approximately 31% below the prior year period.

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