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State Auto Financial increases quarterly dividend; vice president appointed

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- August 9, 2004 -- On August 7, 2004, the board of directors of State Auto Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:STFC) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.045 per share, payable September 30, 2004, to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 15, 2004.

The dividend announced today represents a 12.5% increase from the previous annual rate and is the 13th straight annual dividend increase declared by STFC. This is also the 53rd consecutive quarterly cash dividend declared by the company's board since STFC had its initial public offering of common stock on June 28, 1991.

In related news, the STFC and State Auto Mutual boards also named Doug Allen vice president of the State Auto companies. Allen, previously chief operating officer of Strategic Insurance Software, Inc. (SIS), a wholly owned software development subsidiary company of State Auto's, recently assumed the position of director of the information technology division of State Auto. A 25-year veteran of the company, Allen has served in the MIS and IT departments throughout his tenure.

State Auto Financial Corporation, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a regional property and casualty insurance holding company engaged primarily in writing both personal and commercial lines of insurance. The company currently markets its products through more than 22,500 independent insurance agents associated with over 3,300 agencies in 26 central and eastern states, excluding New York, New Jersey and the New England states. The State Auto Insurance Companies' pool carries an A+ (Superior) rating from A.M. Best Co.

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