Fitch Affirms Essentia Insurance Company Following Acquisition by Markel Corporation

CHICAGO--()--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'.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'. The ratings above were solicited by, or on behalf of, the issuer, and therefore, Fitch has been compensated for the provision of the ratings.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

--'Insurance Rating Methodology' (Jan. 11, 2013).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:

Insurance Rating Methodology ¬タヤ Amended

http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=698731

ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE.

Contacts

Fitch, Inc.
Primary Analyst
Martha M. Butler, CFA, +1-312-368-3191
Senior Director
70 W. Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
or
Secondary Analyst
Douglas M. Pawlowski, CFA, +1-312-368-2054
Senior Director
or
Committee Chairperson
R. Andrew Davidson, CFA, +1-312-368-3144
Senior Director
or
Media Relations
Brian Bertsch, +1-212-908-0549
brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com