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Markel Files Shelf Registration Statement

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) announced today that it has taken advantage of recently adopted streamlined rules and filed a shelf registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The registration statement covers securities which may be sold from time to time in one or more offerings on terms and conditions to be determined in light of the circumstances at the time of any offering. Authorized securities include common and preferred equity, debt, warrants, share purchase contracts and share purchase units. The Company does not have any present plans to issue any securities, and this news release does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale. Under the new SEC rules, the registration statement automatically became effective upon filing.

Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of niche markets. In each of these markets, the Company seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.

Markel Corporation celebrates its Diamond Anniversary in 2005; over 75 years we've firmly established the Markel Style and our commitment to success.

This is a "Safe Harbor" statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Certain statements contained in this release are forward looking statements that involve uncertainties. Future actions may be different because of many factors including prevailing interest rates and general market conditions. Additional factors which could affect the Company are discussed in the Company's registration statement and its periodic reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K.

SOURCE: Markel Corporation

CONTACT: Bruce A. Kay of Markel Corporation, +1-804-747-0136/ /Web site: