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Markel (MKL) Issues Life Sciences Coverage in Primary Market


Markel Corporation MKL recently introduced new coverage to address the demand of biomedical and life sciences companies in the U.S. primary insurance segment. Shares of the company have gained 1.3% in the last couple of trading sessions following the announcement. This marks Markel’s foray in the market of primary offerings.

The new coverage includes liabilities ranging from product, professional, general, clinical trial to related medical professional for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, dietary supplement, laboratory instrument and equipment industries. The product will be available across all 50 U.S. states and will be written on surplus lines basis. The company already has a decent presence in the life sciences business in excess markets.

Markel has been growing premiums on the back of a diversified product portfolio. This in turn has been aiding revenue improvement. Also, exposure to primary market will help the insurer ramp up its life insurance premiums.

The recent initiative testifies Markel’s strategic endeavor to grow via organic initiatives by diversifying and adding capabilities to its portfolio. Last month, the company had upgraded a policy for hard-to-insure law firms in an effort to provide better insurance to professionals. These positives lend momentum to underwriting capabilities and hence yield profits to the company.

Shares of Markel have outperformed the industry year to date, rallying 20.6% compared with the industry’s increase of 12.6%. Better underwriting performance and operational results at Markel Venture are expected to drive the shares higher. Markel currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the insurance industry are Cigna Corp. CI, Cincinnati Financial Corp. CINF and Radian Group Inc. RDN.

Radian Group supports homebuyers, mortgage lenders, loan servicers and investors with a suite of private mortgage insurance and related risk-management products and services. The company delivered positive surprises in three of the last four quarters with an average beat of 3.42%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Cigna offers insurance and health-related products and services in the United States and internationally. The company delivered positive surprises in all the last four quarters with an average beat of 9.98%. It carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Cincinnati Financial deals in property and casualty insurance business in the United States. The company delivered positive surprises in all the last four quarters with an average beat of 14.97%. It carries the same bullish Zacks Rank of 2.

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