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Markel Reports First Quarter 2009 Results

RICHMOND, Va., May 6, 2009 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $1.67 for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 compared to $3.41 for the first quarter of 2008. The results for the first quarter of 2009 reflect less favorable underwriting results and lower investment returns compared to the same period of 2008. The combined ratio for the first quarter of 2009 was 95% compared to 92% for the first quarter of 2008. Book value per common share outstanding was $222.14 at March 31, 2009 compared to $222.20 at December 31, 2008.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "While our top-line growth has been impacted by current economic conditions and a competitive insurance marketplace, we remain focused on disciplined underwriting and are pleased to report an underwriting profit for the first quarter of 2009."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of the Form 10-Q is available on the Company's website at or on the SEC website at Readers are urged to review the Form 10-Q for a more complete discussion of the Company's financial performance. The Company's quarterly conference call, which also will involve discussion of the Company's financial results and business developments and may include forward-looking information, will be held Thursday, May 7, 2009, beginning at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Savings Time). Any person interested in listening to the call, or a replay of the call, which will be available from approximately two hours after the conclusion of the call until Friday, May 15, 2009, should contact Markel's Investor Relations Department at 804-747-0136. Investors, analysts and the general public also may listen to the call free over the Internet through the Company's web site,

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.

SOURCE Markel Corporation