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Markel Corp. is moving into the Florida workers’ compensation business with the acquisition of Aspen Holdings, Inc.

Markel and Aspen (doing business as FirstComp) have entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition by Markel of Aspen, a privately held insurance group that provides workers’ compensation insurance and related services, principally to small businesses, in 31 states. Omaha-based Aspen operates primarily through FirstComp Insurance Co., a Nebraska-domiciled insurance company; FirstComp Underwriters Group, Inc. and FirstComp Insurance Agency, Inc., which act as managing general agents; and REX, Inc., which operates as a wholesale intermediary.

Aspen’s subsidiaries collectively underwrite more than $300 million of gross written premium annually. They operate through a network of over 9,000 retail agents and have more than 500 employees based in Nebraska, Rhode Island, Nevada, California and Florida.

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