Total U.S. life insurance company statutory net operating gains increased to about $38 billion in 2004, from $31 billion in 2003.[@@]

Conning Research and Consulting Inc., Hartford, has published those figures in a new report on the U.S. life industry.

The authors of the report predict that life insurers will continue to do well, and they note that strong gains helped life insurers increase surplus capital levels 9% in 2004.