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State Auto Financial Corporation expects storms and large losses to impact earnings


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- September 28, 2000 -- A combination of Midwest storms and a small number of severe commercial losses will negatively impact loss ratios for the third quarter, State Auto Financial Corporation (Nasdaq:STFC) reported today.

These claims are expected to reduce earnings per share for the quarter by approximately 10 to 13 cents. The consensus estimate, as published by Nelson Information/Thomson Financial, was 28 cents per share.

Chairman Robert L. Bailey stated, "We are disappointed that our streak of eight straight quarters of underwriting profit will be interrupted, but we are confident that our core underwriting and pricing strategies are sound and being well executed."

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, worker's 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.

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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