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State Auto Financial highlights another profitable year at annual meeting


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- May 25, 2001 -- State Auto Financial Corporation's (NASDAQ:STFC) tenth annual meeting featured a recap of 2000, the sixth straight year the company has achieved an underwriting profit. "Few, perhaps no, companies writing the broad range of business we do can match our six-plus years of underwriting profit," said State Auto Chairman Robert H. Moone. "While we made a decision to sacrifice market share, if necessary, in order to preserve that profit, we are now growing again at a double-digit pace." Moone added that the double-digit growth experienced so far in 2001 is being generated while adhering to the same principles that have served the company's profit objectives.

State Auto Mutual's board of directors also announced the appointment of three new officers. Casualty claim manager Gary Kratzenberg, claims training and procedures manager Booth Muller and property loss manager Gene Roberts were all elected assistant secretaries.

Kratzenberg began his career with State Auto as a field claim representative for Pennsylvania in 1978. He was promoted to senior field claim representative in 1981 and senior branch claims examiner of the Eastern Regional Office in 1986. He joined the corporate claim staff in 1988 and assumed his current post in 1995.

Booth Muller joined State Auto in 1970 as a claims adjuster in Michigan. He came to the home office in 1973 and served briefly as an auditor in the Internal Audit department, before joining corporate claims in 1974. He served in a variety of claims management and technical capacities before assuming his current role in early 1995.

Gene Roberts became a part of the State Auto group in 1978 as a field claim representative in Indiana. After joining corporate claims in 1983 as a special claim representative, he became property loss manager in 1986, the post in which he remains today.

Today, the STFC board declared a regular cash dividend of $0.03 per share, payable on June 29, 2001, to shareholders of record on June 12, 2001. This is the 40th consecutive cash dividend declared by the company's board since STFC had its initial public offering of common stock on June 28, 1991.

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 14,000 agents associated with approximately 2,200 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.

Listen to the live Web cast of STFC's annual meeting, Friday, May 25, at 10 a.m. (Eastern) on www.streetfusion.com. The archived broadcast of the meeting will also be available on StreetFusion through August 25, 2001.

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.

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