Investment earnings accounted for about 6% of U.S. life and health insurers’ profits during the first 9 months of 2005, up from 2% during the comparable period in 2004.

Researchers at Weiss Ratings Inc., Jupiter, Fla., say profits for the 838 life and health insurers it rates increased to $28 billion during the period studied in 2005, from about $26 billion during the first 9 months of 2004.

The companies’ investment profits increased to $1.8 billion, from $552 million.

The value of the insurers’ variable life and variable annuity separate accounts increased 14%, to $1.4 trillion.

Weiss notes that it upgraded 125 companies during the first 9 months of 2005 and downgraded only 19.