The life insurance industry saw its capital and surplus levels rebound just short of year-end 2008 levels, according to data released by SNL Financial.

Unexpectedly strong life sector profitability helped the industry's policyholders' surplus jump to $252.2 billion in the aggregate as of June 30, up from $240.6 billion as of March 31, and not far from the year-end 2008 level of $252.5 billion. The increase in surplus stands in contrast to the quarter-over-quarter declines the life sector experienced in five of the six previous reporting periods.

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