Markel timeline

Click the boxes below to learn how Markel grew through the years.
Humble beginnings

Sam Markel forms Mutual Casualty Association and establishes Mutual Casualty Company in Norfolk, VA to insure jitney buses.

A family business

Sam Markel's four sons, Lewis, Irvin, Stanley, and Milton, join the growing business, and Markel Service, Inc. is created.

Competitive advantages

Markel Service, Inc. earns a national following and develops a reputation for industry-leading claims adjusting and safety engineering.

Becoming an insurance carrier

Essex Insurance Company is incorporated and licensed to write excess & surplus (E&S) lines business.

Going public

Markel listed on NASDAQ exchange.

Growing the business

Markel acquires four focused, well-positioned companies to grow the business.

Getting bigger

Trading of Markel shares moves to the NYSE and market capitalization approaches $900 Million (USD).

Going global

Markel acquires Terra Nova Holdings Ltd. (Bermuda) and gains entry to London markets.

Introducing Markel Ventures

Markel Ventures is established. First acquisition is AMF Bakery Systems 

Reorganizing with purpose

Markel Wholesale launches regional model to get closer to customers.

Markel Ventures continues to grow

Top-line revenues from Markel Ventures increase by 89%.

Finding new markets

Markel Specialty grows by acquisition of FirstComp, THOMCO, and Essentia Insurance.


Alterra: A natural fit

Markel acquires Alterra Capital Holdings Limited (Bermuda).

The future

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."