Berkshire Hathaway's insurance operations “shot the lights out”in 2012, says CEO Warren Buffett in a letter to shareholders.

The conglomerate's insurance divisions recorded an underwritingprofit of $1.6 billion in 2012 compared to $248 million the prioryear as Berkshire posted net earnings for the year of $14.8billion, up from $10.3 billion in 2011.

Buffett says it was the 10th consecutive year ofunderwriting profits for insurance operations, which also suppliedthe investor with $73 billion of “free” money to invest—premiumscollected now to pay claims later, also termed “float” byBuffett.

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