An insurer is using a new type of social networking site to appeal to current and prospective agents.

Aviva USA, Des Moines, Iowa, a unit of Aviva P.L.C., London, says it has set up a free, invitation-only private island” in Second Life, an Internet-based “virtual world” that has about 14 million users and an “economy” with a value of about $20 million.

The Aviva island offers free virtual gifts, a training center, and a private “wellness toolbar,” Aviva says.