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Markel Corporation Announces Triggering of Conversion Rights for Liquid Yield Option(TM) Notes Due 2031

RICHMOND, Va., March 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) announced today that commencing on April 1, 2005, the Company's $288.1 million principal amount at maturity of Liquid Yield Option (TM) Notes due 2031 ("LYONs") will be convertible by holders of the LYONs. The conversion rights have been triggered because the closing price of the Company's common stock exceeded the conversion trigger price of $336.49 for at least twenty of the last thirty trading days in the quarter ending March 31, 2005. Holders may convert their LYONs into shares of the Company's common stock at any time on or prior to 5:00 p.m. New York City time on June 4, 2031. The LYONs will be convertible at a rate of 1.1629 shares of common stock per $1000 principal amount of LYONs surrendered for conversion, subject to adjustment as provided in the indenture under which the LYONs were issued in June, 2001. Cash will be paid in lieu of fractional shares. Upon conversion, a holder will not receive any cash payment representing accrued tax original issue discount or accrued original issue discount. If all outstanding LYONs were surrendered for conversion, the aggregate number of shares of common stock issued would be approximately 335,000. In accordance with the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) Issue No. 04-8, the dilutive effect of this potential issuance has been reflected in the Company's diluted net income per share reported in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2004.

Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs for 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.

Visit Markel Corporation on the web at http://www.markelcorp.com.

SOURCE Markel Corporation

CONTACT: Bruce A. Kay of Markel Corporation, +1-804-965-1720

Web site: http://www.markelcorp.com