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State Auto Summary
State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company was founded in 1921 in Columbus, Ohio. The company’s goal was to offer more affordable auto insurance with better overall service. In the 1930s, the company expanded to serve more states and offer more products, adding homeowners insurance and general liability. Fire and marine were added in in the 1950s, along with acquiring additional companies.
In addition to the Columbus headquarters, State Auto has regional offices in Nashville, TN, Indianapolis, IN, Austin, TX, and Baltimore, MD. They offer coverage in 33 states through a network of independent agents.
Today, State Auto offers home, auto, marine, farm, business insurance, as well as a few specialty policies through subsidiaries.
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State Auto’s product lineup covers most of the basics in addition to a few specialty areas.
Auto insurance is the product that started the company and remains a part of their name, making it their flagship product.
State Auto offers customized auto insurance policies through their CustomFit program, which allows customers to select the coverage that best meets their needs. In addition to the usual basics of liability, collision, and comprehensive, they offer a variety of additional options that can be added:
- Replacement Cost coverage
- Free glass repair
- Towing and Labor
They also offer the AutoXtended package, which includes:
- Rental car coverage
- Pet medical
- Locksmith services
- Emergency transportation and travel expenses
- Disability wage loss
- Death indemnity
State Auto has a variety of discounts available, including a substantial auto/home bundling discount and their Prime of Life program, which offers additional discounts for drivers over 45 who also have a homeowner’s policy with State Auto. The Prime of Life program adds the AutoXtended coverage at no charge.
State Auto writes homeowner’s insurance policies for both detached single-family residences and condos. Coverage includes basic structure, personal property, and liability. All with additional features and options.
Homeowners has three separate package endorsement options: Securguard, Defender, and Estate. Each of these has additional limits and coverage to increase protection.
Similar to the auto program, there is a HomeXtended package that provides additional coverage, including:
- Increased coverage for identity fraud
- Computer and coverage for personal use business equipment
- Volunteer liability
- Rented golf cart
- False alarm and fire extinguisher recharge/replace
- Cell phone and GPS coverage
- Mortgage extra expense
Also as with the auto policy, this package is added for free with the Prime of Life program.
State Auto offers Farm Owners Insurance that covers the dwelling, farm personal property, livestock, farm buildings, and more.
Polices are available to cover a variety of personal property items as well as watercraft either by endorsement on a homeowner’s policy, or as a standalone.
Inland Marine policies can cover items like furs, jewelry, musical instruments, and a variety of other high value items.
Pleasure Craft policies cover boats of all sizes, from sailboats to yachts.
State Auto writes business insurance for businesses of all sizes, from large to small. Coverage options include:
- Data Compromise
- Fleet Safety
- Umbrella/Excess Liability
- Worker’s Compensation
- Employment Practices Liability
- Business Practices
- Risk Control
State Auto insurance is sold exclusively through agents, and as a result there is no online quoting and no easy way to obtain a price comparison. The sale of policies through agents means commissions, something that usually equates to higher premium costs.
State Auto is unlikely to compete price wise with large insurance companies, however, may be competitive with other regional insurers.
State Auto offers two methods of submitting a claim:
- 800-766-1853 – 24-hour toll-free claims line
- Report a claim online
The website also states that you can begin the claims process by sending them a direct message through Twitter (@stateauto). Online claims reporting is becoming an expected service, although it’s still somewhat unusual to see smaller companies offering it, so it is good to see this service available here.
The online claims service promises a call from a claims associate within the next business day to gather more information about the claim. After the initial contact, the adjuster will begin investigating the claim, reviewing the damage, and determining what benefits are available under the policy. They will then obtain estimates and settle the claim with the policyholder.
State Auto has a network of repair shops that are part of their “Quality Service Guarantee”. While policyholders can choose any repair shop they want, these shops will offer a warranty on their work.
State Auto has been accredited by the BBB since 1941, and currently has an A+ rating. There are a total of 70 complaints in the past three years, with 23 of those closed in the past 12 months. For a company as large as State Auto those numbers are not high.
There are some negative reviews out there, as there are for all insurance companies, but in general the numbers are low. There are enough positive reviews to counter those complaints. It seems as though there is a lot of confusion in the reviews between State Auto and State Farm, so it can be hard to tell to which company the complaint actually refers to.
Overall, there’s nothing of concern in the complaints, either in volume or content.
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State Auto has a solid auto insurance program and offers some specific programs and discounts for drivers and homeowners over 45, which will make it an appealing choice for that market. Although online quoting is not available, there are other online services that keep the company up to date on expected technology. There are no red flags in the reviews, and if they offer reasonable rates – which can’t be determined online – then they are likely to be a strong competitor for other regional insurers, particularly in the 45+ age group.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.