TEXT - Fitch affirms Essentia Insurance Co

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:21pm EST

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(The following statement was released by the rating agency)
    Jan 16 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed the 'A' Insurer Financial Strength (IFS)
rating of Essentia Insurance Company (Essentia) following its acquisition by
Markel Corporation (MKL) on Jan. 2, 2013. 

MKL purchased Essentia, from OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd., as part of an 
exclusive underwriting relationship with Hagerty Insurance Agency and Hagerty 
Classic Marine Insurance Agency (collectively Hagerty). Hagerty offers insurance
for classic cars, vintage boats, motorcycles and related automotive 
collectibles. 

Under Fitch's Insurance Rating Methodology, Essentia is 'core' and receives 
MKL's group IFS rating of 'A'. Essentia's business is a direct complement to 
MKL's existing specialty business. 

MKL's ratings were affirmed with a Stable Outlook on Dec. 19, 2012 as follows:  

Markel Corporation 
--IDR at 'BBB+';
--$250 million 6.8% senior notes due Feb. 15, 2013 at 'BBB';
--$350 million 7.125% senior notes due Sept. 30, 2019 at 'BBB';
--$250 million 5.35% senior notes due June 1, 2021 at 'BBB';
--$350 million 4.9% senior notes due July 1, 2022 'BBB'.
--$200 million 7.35% senior notes due Aug. 15, 2034 at 'BBB'.

Associated International Insurance Co.
Deerfield Insurance Company
Essex Insurance Company
Evanston Insurance Company
Markel American Insurance Company
Markel Insurance Company
Markel International Insurance Company Limited
--Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) at 'A'.

 (Caryn Trokie, New York Ratings Unit)
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