Have you heard the name “Markel Insurance” and wondered what it is? Or maybe you’ve seen the company name somewhere on Thimble’s website? While Markel may not show up as often as other insurance carriers on TV commercials, don’t be fooled. Founded in 1930, the Fortune 500 company is a long-time industry leader known for providing unique insurance coverage and excellent service around the world.

The reason you may not be as familiar with the Markel name as other insurance companies is that it’s often underwriting policies and providing insurance behind the scenes (like it does for Thimble). Read on to learn all you need to know about Markel, how it works, and why it’s one of our trusted partners.

What does Markel Corporation do?

Markel Corporation, headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, is an insurance provider of personal and business insurance products. Its story began in 1930 when Samuel A. Markel started the operation and soon recruited all four of his sons to help him meet the growing demand for the company’s products. At that time, however, the commercial transportation industry was like the Wild West. Markel’s visionary leadership helped to create nationwide safety standards, pass the National Motor Carrier Act of 1935, and legitimize insurance for trucking and public standards. The company has been growing and innovating ever since.

With over seven decades of experience, Markel could be, quite literally, your grandparent’s insurance carrier, but the company is far from traditional. Markel specializes in underwriting property and casualty solutions for standard as well as niche risks, although its focus on what’s known as “specialty coverage” sets it apart. Specialty coverage is insurance for risks that are unique, unusual, and generally hard to cover.

Additionally, Markel provides reinsurance, a type of coverage that helps insurance companies protect themselves – essentially insurance for insurance companies. Markel can take in some of another company’s liabilities to minimize the amount of exposure that the company has in certain areas.

Markel is a recognized leader within the insurance world with a track record of stability, growth, and quality customer service. It has over 70 years of experience, 64 offices in 16 countries, and many notable accolades, including1:

  • Top 25 US liability insurers (NAIC, March 2021)
  • #27 on A.M. Best’s top 75 North American public insurers by revenue (July 2020)
  • Ward’s top 50 P&C insurers (July 2020)

We found Markel to be the perfect partner for Thimble as we share a commitment to supporting small business owners by providing customizable, easy-to-manage insurance solutions.

What kinds of insurance does Markel provide?

Markel Corporation provides property and casualty insurance solutions for businesses and individuals. While the core business is focused on specialty insurance, Markel’s offerings span insurance types that are both common and hard to find.

The available insurance types for businesses range from workers compensation and accidental medical to professional liability insurance and beyond.

Here’s a quick snapshot of Markel’s areas of specialization:

  • General liability
  • Commercial property
  • Cyber liability
  • Inland marine
  • Professional liability
  • Small businesses
  • Special events
  • Workers compensation

At Thimble, Markel underwrites some of our general liability and professional liability insurance coverage for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and independent workers in over 140 different professions.

What companies does Markel own?

The Markel Corporation is a holding company for investment operations, insurance, and reinsurance. It has four insurance divisions (Markel Specialty, Markel International, Nephila, and Lodgepine), one reinsurance division (Markel Global Reinsurance), and a subsidiary that makes investments outside of the insurance marketplace (Markel Ventures).2 Markel Specialty is the division offering solutions for small businesses that our team at Thimble has partnered with.

View Markel’s 20 insurance companies or, if you’re interested in the companies acquired by Markel Ventures, you can browse the list here.

Why get insurance through Markel?

Markel helps you find an insurance coverage solution for unique situations— unlike the typical life, home, or health insurance you can find from most carriers. When risks are hard to place, many insurers shy away. However, that’s right when Markel steps up. The company has unmatched experience in niche markets, enabling exceptional service that sets it apart.

Further, while insurance is the one thing you’ll buy that you hope you never have to use, you can take comfort in knowing that the claims process with Markel is a breeze. The claims team is responsive, highly experienced, and delivers fast, fair service.

How do you get Markel Insurance, and how much does it cost?

You can get Markel insurance through individual Markel Specialty agents as well as through companies like Thimble that offer coverage underwritten by Markel.

Markel offers competitive rates across its many types of insurance offerings. When it comes to the average cost of insurance with Thimble, commercial insurance policies can range from around $25 to about $120 per month.

That being said, the rate you can get will depend on the type of coverage you need, your situation, and an analysis of the risk factors you or your business presents (claims history, experience, location, industry, etc.).

If you’re interested in general or professional liability coverage for your business, you can get an instant quote online with us!

Can you cancel Markel Insurance?

Absolutely. At Thimble, you will receive a refund for any portion of your Markel coverage that has not been used.

The refund will be instantly credited to the payment method you used to make the purchase, although it can take a few days to show up depending on your financial institution.3

Going where few insurers have gone before

Markel is a well-established leader in the insurance industry with a long track record of providing trustworthy insurance solutions and excellent customer service. For Thimble, there was no question — Markel was the perfect underwriting partner for our professional liability and general liability insurance. Together, we can offer you quick access to reliable on-demand coverage that protects a wide range of businesses and professions from potential risks.

Many business owners need coverage but have trouble finding a policy that suits their unique needs, which can be daunting, especially for first time insurance buyers. In fact, at Thimble, we offer business insurance to 30,000 customers, and 75% of our customers have never had coverage before! Find out what all the buzz is about.


  1. Markel, Markel Overview
  2. Markel, About Markel
  3. Thimble, CGL Cancellation