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Markel Reports First Quarter Results

RICHMOND, Va., May 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $9.88 for the quarter ended March 31, 2007 compared to $7.67 for the first quarter of 2006. The combined ratio for the first quarter of 2007 was 87% compared to 94% for the first quarter of 2006. Book value per common share outstanding increased 4% to $238.62 at March 31, 2007 from $229.78 at December 31, 2006 primarily due to comprehensive income of $76.7 million.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We have had an excellent start to 2007; however, it is clear that the market is becoming more competitive and prices are decreasing in many lines. In order to achieve our financial goals, we continue to focus on superior customer service, new product development, geographic expansion and increased marketing efforts. We have experienced soft markets before and remain committed to our underwriting discipline."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2007 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 quarterly conference call, which will also involve discussion of the Company's financial results and may include forward-looking information, will be held Wednesday, May 2, 2007, beginning at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern Daylight Savings Time). Any person interested in listening to the call 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

CONTACT: Bruce Kay of Markel Corporation, +1-804-747-0136