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Markel Corporation markets and underwrites specialty insurance products and programs to a variety of markets. The Company has three segments of the specialty insurance marketplace: the Excess and Surplus Lines (E and S), the Specialty Admitted and the London markets. The E and S market focuses on hard-to-place risks and loss exposures that admitted insurers specifically refuse to write. E and S eligibility allows its insurance subsidiaries to underwrite loss exposures with policy forms and unregulated premium rates. The Company also writes business in the Specialty Admitted market. In addition, the Company writes business on both a direct and subscription basis in the London market. The Company’s eight underwriting units are focused on three specialty market segments, including four underwriting units in the E and S market, three in the Specialty Admitted market and one in the London market. E and S Business
In the E and S market, the Company has four underwriting units: Markel Essex Excess and Surplus Lines, Markel Shand Professional/Products Liability, Markel Brokered Excess and Surplus Lines and Markel Southwest Underwriters. The Markel Essex Excess and Surplus Lines unit ( Markel Essex E and S unit) focus on products, such as casualty, property, inland marine, ocean marine, transportation and railroad. The Markel Essex E and S unit’s contract division writes a variety of liability coverages focusing on light-to-medium casualty exposures, such as artisan contractors, habitational risks, restaurants and bars, child and adult care facilities, vacant properties, office buildings, and light manufacturing operations. The contract division also writes property insurance on classes of business ranging from small, single-location accounts to large, multi-state, multi-location accounts. Property coverages consist principally of fire, allied lines, including windstorm, hail and water damage, and other specialized property coverages. In addition, the Markel Essex E and S unit offers coverages for catastrophe-exposed property risks on both an excess and primary basis, including earthquake and wind, through its Essex Special Property division.
The Markel Essex E and S unit’s inland marine facility provides coverages for risks that include motor truck cargo, warehouseman’s legal liability, builder’s risk and contractor’s equipment. The ocean marine facility writes risks that include marinas, hull coverage, cargo and builder’s risk for yacht manufacturers. The transportation division focuses on physical damage coverage for all types of commercial vehicles, such as trucks, buses and high-value automobiles. The railroad division writes all-risk property coverages on rolling stock and real property and liability coverages for shortline, regional, tourist and scenic railroads, as well as modern commuter rail and light rail.
The Markel Shand Professional/Products Liability unit focuses primarily on tailored coverages that offer solutions on a claims-made basis for specialized professions. These coverages include professional liability and errors and omissions for lawyers, architects and engineers, agents and brokers, investment advisors and other professions. The Markel Shand Professional/Products Liability unit also offers medical malpractice coverage for physicians and allied healthcare risks and claims-made products liability coverage focusing on start-up companies, small businesses, emerging technologies and other hard-to-place risks. In addition, the Markel Shand Professional/Products Liability unit offers not-for-profit directors’ and officers’ liability and employment practices liability coverages. The unit also provides a full array of loss prevention programs, including consultation services that can be accessed through telephone inquiry, risk management guides and self audit forms. The Markel Shand Professional/Products Liability unit has access to both admitted and surplus lines markets and writes the majority of its business in Evanston Insurance Company (EIC), which is domiciled in Illinois.
The Markel Brokered Excess and Surplus Lines unit focuses on the products, such as primary casualty, property, excess and umbrella, environmental, taxi liability, surety reinsurance, and casualty facultative reinsurance. Primary casualty coverages target hard-to-place, mid-size and large general liability and products liability exposures. Property coverages focus on non-standard property placements and commercial multi-peril policies, as well as builders’ risk and habitational exposures. Excess and umbrella products are written on both a lead and excess basis, primarily for commercial businesses. Environmental products offer an array of environmental coverages, including environmental consultants’ professional liability, contractors’ pollution liability and site specific environmental impairment liability. Taxi liability products provide auto liability coverage for small to medium-sized local cab fleets on either an admitted or non-admitted basis. Surety reinsurance is written in a broker market focusing on treaty placements for both national and regional surety underwriting companies. The Markel Brokered Excess and Surplus Lines unit provides product solutions to its insureds through approximately 300 wholesale brokers and writes the majority of its business in Evanston Insurance Company EIC.
Markel Southwest Underwriters (MSU) writes commercial casualty and property coverages nationwide, focusing on businesses in the western, southwestern and southeastern United States. Casualty business consists of light-to-medium liability exposures, including general and artisan contractors, habitational risks, office buildings, light manufacturing operations and vacant properties. MSU also writes property insurance on classes of business ranging from small, single-location risks to large, multi-state, multi-location risks. Property business consists principally of fire, allied lines, including windstorm, hail and water damage, and other specialized property coverages. The majority of its business is written in EIC.
Specialty Admitted Business
In the Specialty Admitted market, the Company writes business through Markel Specialty Program Insurance, Markel American Specialty Personal and Commercial Lines, and the Markel Global Marine and Energy. The Markel Specialty Program Insurance unit focuses on providing total insurance programs for businesses engaged in similar but highly specialized activities. The Markel Specialty Program Insurance unit is organized into four product areas that concentrate on particular markets and customer groups: property and casualty division, agriculture division, accident and health division, and the Markel Risk Solutions. The Markel American Specialty Personal and Commercial Lines unit focuses its underwriting on watercraft and commercial marine, small boat and yacht, motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle, property, motor home, special event and supplemental natural disaster coverages.
The Markel Global Marine and Energy unit provides insurance specifically designed to meet the needs of businesses in the marine and energy industries. The unit offers two product lines, excess marine and energy liability and onshore energy property. The excess liability program offers excess casualty and bumbershoot coverages for marine and energy related businesses. The onshore energy property program covers small to mid-sized onshore energy facilities, such as oil refineries, chemical manufacturers and electrical power plants.
London Insurance Market
London Insurance Market segment comprises Markel International, which has offices in Spain, Canada, Singapore and Sweden. Markel International writes specialty property, casualty, professional liability and marine insurance on a direct and reinsurance basis. Business is written worldwide with approximately 20% of writings coming from the United States. Markel International comprises five divisions: Marine and Energy, Non-Marine Property, Professional and Financial Risks, Retail, and Specialty.
The Marine and Energy division underwrites a portfolio of coverages for cargo, energy, hull, liability, war and specie risks. The Non-Marine Property division writes property and liability business for a range of insureds, providing coverage ranging from fire to catastrophe perils, such as earthquake and windstorm. The Professional and Financial Risks division underwrites professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ liability, medical malpractice and intellectual property coverages. The Retail division offers a range of professional liability products, including professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ liability and employment practices liability, through seven branch offices in England and one branch office in Scotland. The Specialty division provides property treaty reinsurance on an excess of loss and proportional basis for per risk and catastrophe exposures.