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State Auto names Blackburn, Lowther senior vice presidents; Griffin elected assistant vice president


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- March 2, 2001 -- State Auto's boards of directors today elected Mark Blackburn and John Lowther senior vice presidents of the State Auto companies. Blackburn is State Auto's director of insurance operations and Lowther is general counsel and secretary. The State Auto Mutual board also elected Diane Griffin assistant vice president. Griffin is State Auto's manager of technical services.

Blackburn joined State Auto in July 1999 as vice president of assumed reinsurance, and was named director of underwriting in January 2000. He became director of insurance operations on February 15, 2001. Blackburn's insurance career includes experience as an agent, company underwriting manager, marketing manager, regional reinsurance manager and prior to joining State Auto, as executive vice president and chief operating officer of a primary insurance company.

Lowther worked as an underwriter, an agent and as a claims attorney before he became an in-house insurance lawyer with JC Penney Casualty Insurance Company in 1978. He spent three years with the Erie Insurance Groupbefore joining State Auto in 1986 as the companies' corporate legal counsel. In 1988 he was named assistant secretary of the State Auto Companies and in August of 1989 he was named general counsel and secretary. Lowther, a CPCU, has a bachelors degree from the Ohio State University and a J.D. from Capital University.

Griffin came to State Auto in 1986 from Republic Franklin Insurance Company where she was manager of information services. At State Auto she was assigned leadership of several major information services projects before being named information services manager in 1989. In 1995, she was elevated to manager of technical services. Griffin was first elected an officer in the State Auto Companies in 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.

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 promulgation's, 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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