Markel Corporation Insurance Company
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The Markel Corporation saw its inception in the roaring twenties; as founder Sam Markel sought to help veterans of World War I make a living. These veterans; back from a War that many Americans knew little about and with no bill of rights to protect them; took to whatever jobs they could get. Many of them wound up in the burgeoning automotive transportation industry. While railroads were an excellent way to move people from city to city or state to state; intra-city transport was almost non-existent. Norfolk; Virginia; site of Sam Markel’s first business; had no public transportation – no buses or trains – and many citizens were too poor to afford a car. As a result Jiteny Buses,” which were actually cobbled-together cars that doubled as transports; were used by veterans to begin a form of bus service. The fares cost only a nickel; and the operators found themselves in a difficult position; since not only were the fares minimal; but passengers expected to be compensated for injury suffered should there be an accident.
No insurance provider had any interest in covering these men and their Jitneys; so Sam Markel banded them together to form the Mutual Casualty Association. He then wrote the first public transportation policy in the nation and filed it with the Norfolk city council. Soon; the nearby Capitol of Richmond did the same; and soon the company moved its headquarters there. Markel dedicated himself to developing safety-engineering programs for the Jitneys; as well as putting a together a 24 hours claims department to ensure faster claims processing. In 1926; the company American Fidelity & Casualty Company was formed from the Mutual Casualty Association; and welcomed a new group of insureds into its fold – truck and bus carriers of both goods and people. Due to the fly-by-night nature of the industry; the public demanded regulation; and the railroads merely sat back and waited for this new form of transport to fail. Markel organized merchant groups who ostracized those who operated outside the law; giving automobile transport a legitimate place in American business.
Today; Markel auto insurance is one facet of a company that has an entire suite of products; but it is one of their best. Rated as “”excellent”” by A.M. Best and listed as one of the top 100 underwriters in the United States; Markel auto insurance has some of the most flexible coverage available. With 90 years in the business of insurance; the Markel Corporation is able to offer multiple insurance solutions to any of its clients.