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Markel Reports First Quarter 2010 Results

RICHMOND, Va., May 5, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $4.33 for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 compared to $1.67 for the first quarter of 2009. The results for the first quarter of 2010 reflect improved investment returns partially offset by less favorable underwriting results compared to the same period of 2009. The combined ratio for the first quarter of 2010 was 101% compared to 95% for the first quarter of 2009. The combined ratio for the first quarter of 2010 included approximately $17 million, or 4 points, of underwriting loss on the Chilean earthquakes that occurred in February of this year. Book value per common share outstanding increased 5% to $296.17 at March 31, 2010 from $282.55 at December 31, 2009.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our results continue to benefit from the rebound of the financial markets with our invested assets approaching $8 billion. On the underwriting side, we produced a small loss as a result of the Chilean earthquakes. We continue to look for opportunities in the insurance marketplace to profitably grow our business and build value for our shareholders."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2010 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 will involve discussion of the Company's financial results and business developments and may include forward-looking information, will be held Thursday, May 6, 2010, 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 14, 2010, 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