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State Auto Financial recaps exceptional performance at annual meeting


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- May 26, 2000 -- State Auto Financial Corporation's (NASDAQ:STFC) ninth annual meeting featured a recap of 1999, the fifth straight year the company has achieved an underwriting profit. "There are very few companies in this business that can say they've made an underwriting profit every year since 1995,'' said State Auto Chairman Robert L. Bailey. "We have always prided ourselves in outperforming the industry, and as long as we continue to underwrite intelligently and aggressively manage our expenses, the trend should continue. I'm very proud of our record and the path we've taken to get here.'' Bailey noted that STFC has enjoyed a combined ratio of 100 or less in 13 of the last 14 quarters.

Also today, STFC's board of directors approved a plan to repurchase up to one million shares of STFC common stock through December 31, 2001.

After the annual meeting, the STFC board declared a regular cash dividend of $0.0275 per share, payable on June 30, 2000, to shareholders of record on June 12, 2000. This is the 36th 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 13,100 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.

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