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State Auto Financial expects storms to impact earnings

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- July 9, 2003 -- State Auto Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:STFC) today announced that it has increased its estimate of May storm losses by $16 million, bringing the total to $39 to $42 million, pre-tax. This will add seven loss ratio points to the previous estimate contained in its May 20 release, bringing that total to 17 to 18 points. High winds, tornados, hail, lightning and resulting fires caused damage in 17 of the company's 26 operating states between May 2 and May 12.

"Based on a current review of June's loss information, we underestimated the frequency and severity of the claims associated with these widespread storms. The numbers are unprecedented. The May storms will rank as the costliest storms of their type in State Auto's history," said Robert H. Moone, STFC chairman and CEO. "We are confident that our core underwriting and pricing strategies remain sound over the long term. Our underlying book of business, absent these storms, continues to perform consistent with the results shown in the past two quarters." Moone added, "I want to again thank our claims associates and independent agents who have provided exemplary service to our insureds following these storms. We've said it before: this is why we're in business, and this is why people choose State Auto."

State Auto Financial Corporation is scheduled to release second quarter results on July 31, 2003.

State Auto Financial Corporation is a regional property and casualty insurance holding company engaged primarily in writing personal and commercial automobile, homeowners, commercial multi-peril, workers' compensation and fire insurance. The company currently markets its products through more than 22,000 agents associated with approximately 3,500 agencies in 26 states. Products are marketed primarily in the Midwest and Eastern United States, excluding New York, New Jersey and the New England states.

Except for historical information, all other information in this news release consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated or implied. The most significant of these uncertainties are described in State Auto Financial's Form 10-K and Form 10-Q reports and exhibits to those reports, and include (but are not limited to) legislative changes at both the state and federal level, state and federal regulatory rule making promulgations and adjudications, class action litigation involving the insurance industry and judicial decisions affecting claims, policy coverages and the general costs of doing business, the impact of competition on products and pricing, inflation in the costs of the products and services insurance pays for, product development, geographic spread of risk, weather and weather-related events, and other types of catastrophic events. State Auto Financial undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

    Copyright © 2014 State Auto Insurance Companies. All rights reserved.
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