Markel Corp. Outlook Revised to Stable; Ratings Affirmed

October 27, 2003

Standard & Poor’s has revised its outlook on Markel Corp. to stable from positive. At the same time, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its ratings on MKL.

The outlook revision follows MKL’s recent announcement that it will report an unexpected reserve strengthening charge of $105 million in the third quarter of 2003, which is expected to result in an after-tax net loss of $15 million-$20 million for the quarter. Because of this charge, Standard & Poor’s expects MKL’s 2003 earnings to fall below its expectations.

In addition, Standard & Poor’s is concerned that reserve strengthening could continue to be a drag on MKL’s operating results over the medium term, given significant reserving charges reported by the group in the past four years. Capital adequacy, however, is expected to remain supportive of the credit rating over the medium term.

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