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State Auto Middle Market appoints new Midwestern Zone vice president

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Ben BlackmonCOLUMBUS, Ohio – October 7, 2008 – Ben Blackmon has been named zone vice president of the State Auto Middle Market Insurance (SAMMI) Midwest Zone office in Naperville (Chicago), Ill.

Blackmon began his insurance career as an independent insurance agent in Maryland. After selling his agency and joining State Auto as a senior commercial specialist, Blackmon held various management positions, including territory manager, regional manager, and director of commercial lines underwriting. He was a program manager before joining State Auto Middle Market Insurance in 2007 as Central Zone manager, based in Columbus.

“We are fortunate that Ben has agreed to take his unique marketing, sales and underwriting skills to our Midwest Zone office,” said SAMMI Division Vice President Larry Williams. “Ben will provide the leadership needed to aggressively expand our business throughout the Midwest.”

Blackmon received his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and Associate in Underwriting (AU) designations.

State Auto Middle Market Insurance (SAMMI) was created in early 2004 in response to agent requests that State Auto expand the size and scope of its commercial lines business to include larger commercial risks, usually with at least $100,000 in annual premium. Since that time, SAMMI, headquartered in Columbus, has grown exponentially, necessitating the creation of zone offices in Naperville (Chicago), Ill., Peoria (Phoenix), Ariz., Hunt Valley (Baltimore), Md., and Austin, Texas.

The State Auto Insurance Companies, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, are engaged primarily in writing personal and business insurance products exclusively through approximately 3,400 independent insurance agencies in 33 states and are proud to be a Trusted Choice® company partner. The State Auto Insurance Companies include State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STFC) and State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company, which is one of only 14 companies to be rated A+ (Superior) by the A.M. Best Company every year since 1954. Additional information can be found online at StateAuto.com.

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