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Markel Reports Second Quarter and Six Month Results

RICHMOND, Va., July 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net income per share of $12.15 for the quarter ended June 30, 2007 compared to $9.11 for the second quarter of 2006. Diluted net income per share was $22.02 for the six months ended June 30, 2007 compared to $16.77 for the same period of 2006. The combined ratio for the second quarter of 2007 was 89% compared to 86% for the second quarter of 2006. The combined ratio was 88% for the six months ended June 30, 2007 compared to 90% for the same period of 2006. Book value per common share outstanding increased 7% to $246.00 at June 30, 2007 from $229.78 at December 31, 2006 primarily due to comprehensive income of $146.9 million.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased to report another quarter of solid underwriting performance despite intense competition. In response to current soft insurance market conditions, we continue to examine various ways to profitably grow our business. During the second quarter of 2007, we acquired two small underwriting operations and announced plans by Markel Syndicate 3000 to open an office in Singapore."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2007 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A copy of the Form 10-Q is available on the Company's website at http://www.markelcorp.com or on the SEC website at http://www.sec.gov. 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, August 1, 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, http://www.markelcorp.com .

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