Primary Banner Beige

Markel Reports Third Quarter and Nine Month Results

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported a net loss of $11.31 per diluted share for the quarter ended September 30, 2005 compared to net income of $1.40 per diluted share for the same period of 2004. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2005 was $2.52 per diluted share compared to $11.44 per diluted share in 2004. The combined ratio for the third quarter of 2005 was 149% compared to 106% for the same period of 2004. For the nine months ended September 30, 2005, the combined ratio was 109% compared to 97% in the prior year. The combined ratio for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2005 included $254 million, or 57% and 18%, respectively, of underwriting loss related to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The combined ratio for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2004 included $80 million, or 16% and 5%, respectively, of underwriting loss related to Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Book value per share decreased to $162.82 per share at September 30, 2005 from $168.22 per share at December 31, 2004 due to comprehensive loss of $46.2 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2005.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our 2005 hurricane losses were more than we expected. We are working on several fronts to review how we approach catastrophe exposed business. From both an underwriting and capital standpoint, we are well positioned to succeed in the changing insurance marketplace."

The Company also announced today it has filed its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2005 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of the Form 10-Q is available on the Company's website at http://www.markelcorp.com or at 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 Thursday, November 3, 2005 beginning at 10:30 a.m. (Eastern Standard 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.

Markel Corporation celebrates its Diamond Anniversary in 2005; over 75 years we've firmly established the Markel Style and our commitment to success.

SOURCE: Markel Corporation

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