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Life insurers 'important in improving health levels'

It has been claimed that life insurance companies are beginning to play an important role in helping the UK population to become healthier.As concerns surrounding obesity continue to rise, life insurance companies that offer people discounts for maintaining a healthy lifestyle or offer free gym membership can be a useful way to encourage people to remain healthy, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has suggested.A spokesman for the ABI said: "Insurers have a role to play in encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyles and recognise where people do adopt healthy lifestyles where that has an implication on their mortality."He added that many life insurance companies are aiming to introduce innovative ideas as a way to pull in more customers."It is a competitive market, and it will continue to remain competitive," he said.According to research from the ABI, 40 per cent of households have life insurance and in 2006, the UK insurance industry paid out £17 million per day in death benefits.

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