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Markel Reports Third Quarter and Nine-Month Results
Date:11/4/2008

RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) reported diluted net loss per share of $14.46 for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 compared to diluted net income per share of $9.26 for the third quarter of 2007. Diluted net loss per share was $2.63 for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 compared to diluted net income per share of $31.28 for the same period of 2007. The results for both periods of 2008 reflect lower investment returns and less favorable underwriting results compared to the same periods of 2007.

Alan I. Kirshner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our third quarter and year-to-date results have been negatively impacted by the ongoing financial market turmoil, difficult underwriting conditions and recent hurricane activity. Our financial strength provides a solid foundation for us to capitalize on growth opportunities presented by today's marketplace. We are continuing to emphasize our underwriting standards and are increasing prices for many of our products in response to market conditions."

The combined ratio for the third quarter of 2008 was 124% compared to 87% for the third quarter of 2007. The combined ratio for the nine months ended September 30, 2008 was 104% compared to 88% for the same period of 2007. The combined ratio for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2008 included $115.1 million, or 22 points and 8 points, respectively, of underwriting loss related to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Net realized investment losses for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2008 were $168.7 million and $200.2 million, respectively, compared to net realized investment gains of $3.0 million and $64.7 million, respectively, for the quart
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