COLUMBUS, Ohio – November 3, 2006 – The State Auto Insurance Companies today announced that Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel John R. Lowther will retire in 2007. He has resigned, effective immediately, from the Boards of Directors of State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company and State Auto Financial Corporation, but will continue to work with the Boards and Chairman and CEO Bob Restrepo as a senior advisor and acting general counsel. A search for his successor is underway.
Lowther worked as an underwriter, agent, and claims attorney before becoming an in-house insurance lawyer with JC Penney Casualty Insurance Company in 1978. He spent three years with the Erie Insurance Group before joining State Auto in 1986 as the companies’ corporate legal counsel. Lowther holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and a Juris Doctor from Capital University Law School.
“Since joining State Auto, I’ve come to appreciate and value John’s integrity, commitment to the Company, and his desire to do what’s right for all our stakeholders,” said Restrepo. “John will continue to work with me over the next year to ensure a successful transition, provide advice and counsel to me and the Board, and continue his legacy of professionalism and commitment to State Auto.”
The State Auto Insurance Companies, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, are engaged primarily in writing personal and commercial insurance products through more than 22,500 independent agents associated with approximately 3,000 agencies in 27 states. The State Auto Companies include State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: STFC), named Forbes Magazine's "Best Managed Insurance Company in America" for 2006. STFC also received the 2006 Mergent Dividend Achiever Award for having increased its dividends for ten or more years in succession. The State Auto Insurance Companies are rated A+ (Superior) by the A.M. Best Company. Additional information on State Auto can be found atwww.StateAuto.com.