I am not sure where the insurance companies are getting their information, but I believe that they may need to expand upon the policy that they seem to have adopted. The thing is that some vegetarian diets ARE heathier, but not because they are vegetarian diets. What makes them heathier is the amounts of lean protein that SOME vegetarians are consuming, usually in the the form of soy or whey protein. On the other end of this issue, there are also many non vegetarians (myself included), that eat diets that are just as, if not more heathy than the beforementioned vegetarian diets. Eating lean proteins, such as chicken breast, white fish, shell fish such as mussels, and lean cuts of properly prepared beef provide heathy and lean protein that your body needs.
I am only mentioning the protein content of both of these diet options under the assumption that both also include proper amounts of fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy and grains.
Also "diet" is not referring to what some people do to lose weight, but rather to what people choose to eat.
My focus on the protein content of these diet options comes down to this; You can have a vegetarian who thinks that they are eating heathy by focusing on just fruits and vegetables, with occasional grains and maybe some soy products. The trouble is that if they are not replacing the meat that they are not eating, with protein from soy and whey products, their body will not be getting proper nutrition and will cause them to become less heathy over time and eventually lead to a comprimised immune system. On the other hand, a meat eater can do exactly the same thing to themselves by not eating the proper amounts of fruits an vegetables by focusing on just meats and starches.
On the whole, it is all about balance, whether you eat meat or not. The fact still remains that we, as human animals, are omnivores. Our bodies need Proteins, vegetables, fruits, dairy, grains and starches in order for us to have proper nutrition.
Back to my point about the insurance thing. I agree with them that the should give people who eat a HEALTHY vegetarian diet a break on their insurance. However, I do not think a blanket policy for all vegetarians is a good idea. Not all vegetarians eat the proper amounts of proteins, dairy and starches that they should. I believe a policy of checking what people eat on a regular basis, regardless of whether or not they eat meat, and having it evaluated by a clinical nutitionist as part of the application process for insurance would better way to evaluate the "heath" of each individual. Using generalizations of ANY group of people for purposes of lumping them into ANY category is bordering on discrimination, and these insurance companies in question my have legal problems in the future if they are not careful.
Think about it. Saying ALL vegetarians are healty, is like saying ALL white people are rich.
I am white, but I am NOT rich. I'm also a meat eater, but I AM healthy.
...and that is my humble opinion.
Working on Clinical nutrition degree