Berkshire Beyond Buffett: Insurance Notes by Steven Towns

Larry Cunningham is one of the most respected authors who has written about Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway. His Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values is proving to be an informative read thus far — last week I posted some notes and takeaways from the first few chapters. This time I’m sharing more of the same from the remainder of chapter 3 as well as chapter 4, which is the first chapter of the second part of the book.

  • Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) directors serve w/o dir liability insurance that other boards take for granted. See book: Berkshire Beyond Buffett
  • Another helpful info table in ch. 3 of ‘s Berkshire Beyond Buffett. Ch 2 full of data on subs. Ch 3 has “B.E.R.K.S.H.I.R.E” acrostic
  • Agreed: “The simpler the [corporate] values are to convey, the more durable they tend to be.” – “Berkshire Beyond Buffett”
  • Reading, ~live-twting Berksire Beyond Buffett by . Just started pt II. Naturally, concept inspired by in 1936.
  • Berkshire: $46M for 1/2 of GEICO accum 1976-80. Paid $2.3B for rest in ’95. Negative cost of cap on float. Econ of scale: moat  
  • Berkshire Hathaway’s National Indemnity Company (NICO) bedrock principle: “There is no such thing as a bad risk; there are only bad rates.”
  • Berkshire’s NICO rejects > 98% of business offered to it. (Berkshire Beyond Buffett ch. 3: Budget-conscious and Earnest)
  • Buffett’s “too hard pile”. Ajit Jain underwriter par excellence: […] (he’s equipped) w the realism to forget abt those he can’t evaluate.
  • In 2004 Buffett said had Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) not acquired NICO in ’67 ($8.6M), it would be lucky to be worth 1/2 its value.
  • NICO: sacrosanct promises; fin. fortress; backstop any risk at right price; customers will’gly pay for such earnestness -BRK Beyond Buffett

You might also enjoy another recent post (click the first hyperlink below).

Susan Decker on the Magic of Berkshire Hathaway’s Returns

Berkshire Beyond Buffett