The staffer promoted is ‘perfectly poised to take our hull and war business forward’, says director

Markel has bolstered its London underwriting team by promoting Katie Costello to the role of head of hull and war.

Costello joined Markel International in October 2017 as a marine hull and war underwriter before climbing up the ranks to the role of marine hull and war senior underwriter.

She is also a member of the Lloyd’s Marine Under 35’s committee.

In her new position, Costello will manage and oversee underwriting processes to “ensure the team will maintain high service levels” for the firm’s clients and brokers.

Costello will be based in Markel’s London office and report to director of marine Dan McCarthy.

“I am delighted to announce Katie as our new head of hull and war at Markel,” McCarthy said.

“With her deep sector knowledge, dedication and longevity within the business, Katie is perfectly poised to take our hull and war business forward, so she can build on the excellent reputation and pedigree that we have established with brokers and clients in this area for over 25 years.”


Markel has also promoted Paul Western to the role of head of hull underwriting.

Whilst maintaining his position as a senior underwriter on the Markel’s war account, Western will also be responsible for driving the business’s hull strategy, as well as enhancing broker relationships and developing talent within the underwriting team.

McCarthy said that “with Paul and the team’s support, I look forward to seeing Katie take our portfolio forward, as we strengthen our position as a leading insurance carrier within the hull and war market”.

“I would also like to take this moment to congratulate Paul for his promotion to head of hull underwriting whilst maintaining his position as a senior underwriter on the war account,” he added.

“Since joining Markel in 2021, Paul has brought a wealth of experience and value to the team and fostered relationships with our broker partners.

“He is a well-respected underwriter with 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry.”

In addition to the people moves, Markel announced that is has increased its normal maximum lines in hull to $150m (£118m), builders risks to $100m (£79m) and war risks to $150m (£118m), which McCarthy said demonstrated the firm’s further “commitment to offer market-leading capacity for our clients”.

  • Insurance Times has converted dollar amounts into pounds using an exchange rate of $1.27 = £1, which was correct as of 1 February 2024.