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Markel Reports First Quarter 2011 Results

RICHMOND, Va., May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $0.85 for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 compared to $4.33 for the first quarter of 2010. The combined ratio for the first quarter of 2011 was 112% compared to 101% for the first quarter of 2010. The combined ratio for the first quarter of 2011 included $69 million, or 15 points, of underwriting loss related to the Australian floods, the New Zealand earthquake and the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. The combined ratio for the first quarter of 2010 included $17 million, or 4 points, of underwriting loss on the Chilean earthquakes. Book value per common share outstanding increased 1% to $329.09 at March 31, 2011 from $326.36 at December 31, 2010.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our first quarter results were adversely impacted by losses from the catastrophes in Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and our thoughts are with those that have been affected by these tragic events. Our financial strength provides a solid foundation for us to withstand these losses while continuing to build long-term value for our shareholders."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2011 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 Friday, May 6, 2011, 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 Monday, May 16, 2011, 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 is a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The Company's principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. In each of the Company's businesses, it 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 and operating profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.

SOURCE Markel Corporation