NPR logo France Loses; Warren Buffett Wins

France Loses; Warren Buffett Wins

France World Cup
Martin Meissner/AP

South Africa knocked France out of the World Cup today. That's good news for Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's company.

Berkshire sold an insurance policy that would have paid about $30 million if France won the World Cup, Buffett told CNBC earlier this year.

With France out of the running, Berkshire will get to keep the premium it charged to the mystery buyer who took out that policy.

Berkshire is a huge insurer — it owns Geico, among other brands. And it's taken on some of the the random-insurance-policy business historically associated with Lloyd's.

Berkshire has sold insurance against the cancellation of a college hoops tournament, and a possible payout of $1 billion in a contest sponsored by Pepsi, Bloomberg News notes.

Lloyd's is still in the odd-insurance business, by the way — and sometimes sells policies that seem more like publicity stunts than prudent risk management. The company says it recently insured a coffee-taster's tongue, and a wine-maker's nose.

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