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State Auto Insurance Review

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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State Auto Insurance
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Despite the name, State Auto Insurance offers more than just coverage for cars. This longstanding insurer offers a range of basic personal insurance products as well as coverage for businesses of all sizes. All with the goal of providing good service at reasonable rates.

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.

Insurance Products

State Auto’s product lineup covers most of the basics in addition to a few specialty areas.

Auto Insurance

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.

Home Insurance

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.

Farm Insurance

State Auto offers Farm Owners Insurance that covers the dwelling, farm personal property, livestock, farm buildings, and more.

Additional Products

Inland Marine/Boat

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.

Business

State Auto writes business insurance for businesses of all sizes, from large to small. Coverage options include:

  • Property
  • Liability
  • Data Compromise
  • Fleet Safety
  • Vehicles
  • Umbrella/Excess Liability
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Business Practices
  • Risk Control

State Auto Rates

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.

Claims

State Auto offers two methods of submitting a claim:

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.

Consumer Research and Complaints

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.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A- Stable
Fitch N/A N/A
S&P N/A N/A

Bottom Line

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.

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Review Information

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed
State Auto
Author Rating
31star1star1stargraygray

About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

21 Comments

  1. Worst insurance company ever.

    Denied liability coverage when our neighbors sued us.

    We had just moved in and the neighbors were in dispute with the builder.

    State Auto said that as we did not fix the issue (the subject of the dispute between the builder and neighbors FROM BEFORE WE EVEN OWNED THE HOUSE) we were causing DELIBERATE damage to the neighbor’s property, and as it was not an accident, they would not cover us!

    Now hiring a lawyer to go after them for bad faith denial.

    Reply
  2. Hi there, all the time I used to check web site posts here early in the morning, as
    I enjoy to find out more and more.

    Reply
  3. State Auto homeowner’s insurance rank in the negative numbers. A neighbor’s tree fell and destroyed
    a substantial section of my fence.

    They’re too lazy to send an investigator out and is not interested in
    any way in subrogation.

    Reply
  4. I was with State Auto insurance. I moved and updated my address on my credit card, but forgot to update my address with S.A. which meant my CC wouldn’t go through with the wrong zip code. So, I missed 1 payment last week ( I had auto pay and haven’t ever missed a payment this should have been a red flag). My [Redacted] Agent called me and said you were dropped and they didn’t know why. So I called S.A. myself….. even if I made a payment it wasn’t guaranteed that they would reinstate me. Really??!! An honest mistake and no track record of any issue. I honestly just moved.. Guess I’ll take my business elsewhere. I don’t reccomended doing business with them after this.

    Reply
  5. Our vehicle was totaled due to flooding recently. Our complaint is that our insurance company didn’t do a fair job appraising our vehicle. The cars they picked for comparison are not comparable to our vehicle. Two of them showed an accident and damage in their Carfax report while our car had no previous accidents or damages.
    Also when appraising our car they marked the condition as average while our car was in excellent condition since we only used it to commute to work. Also when we reported the incident to them, it took them three days to find and tow the car to a safe place, our vehicle was AMG package they don’t even know what’s the differences are between regular package and AMG, the adjuster kept asking me what’s the difference. After I explained to him he sent me the revised one but still, it was very low compared with the market value. They missed considering some options at the beginning.

    Reply
  6. Honestly the worst insurance company. Was hit by one of State Auto’s insured. I immediately contacted them after getting the police report. They would not contact the person who hit me and wanted to “wait for him to call” them first. Took 2 weeks before I knew what was going on with the claim. Finally, after getting word that they were paying for the repairs AND a rental car, I find out details and urgently call back the adjuster to let them know when I would be taking in my car so they could get the rental in place. Take my car in to get fixed only to find out that no rental car had been assigned to me because the adjuster did not take care of it. 2 hours later, after constantly calling and getting no answer or call back, I get a call from another person stating that I then had a rental and could go get it whenever. Fast forward to 2 weeks later, my car is still being worked on. I get a call from the rental car company telling me that State Auto would only pay up until a certain date (Which was 6 days prior) and that I had to fork over the rest. But NO ONE informed me that I would be paying a certain amount after a number of days. No one answers calls or calls you back. The communication in this place is horrible. If I ever get hit by one of their insured again I would rather just pay my deductible than deal with this horrendous company.

    Reply
    • Omg yes, they are the worst. I was also rear-ended with three minor children and they refuse to compensate me and my kids. The rental car was another issue I am so fed up with this company. Issues after issues.

      Reply
  7. Dealing with this company is awful. They will screw you over in a minute. Tell you one thing and they won’t do what they say. My son was hit by one of their clients and he was out of a car. They said they would pay him for driving one of our cars but then wouldn’t pay him. Wouldn’t pay the storage of the car. They are terrible to deal with. No one answers their phones and won’t call u back. Zero stars in my book.

    Reply
  8. I don’t understand why an “appraiser ” from State Auto with the phone number seen on my phone was: [redacted] but in her voicemail left an 800 number, even called after my accident. The call was from Chicago, and I live in Texas.

    This is not my insurance company!
    My insurance company, as well as the responsible insured person’s insurance company, is USAA! So, why this call from State Auto by a woman claiming to be an “appraiser “???? This was not a serious accident either. Fraud?

    Reply
  9. Negative stars! It is literally impossible to talk to customer service! No one answers the phone – ever! I canceled our policy in January, as of February 1 due to retirement, and am still waiting for a premium refund and it’s now April 3. How this company stays in business is beyond me. Avoid at all costs!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. If I could give them ZERO stars, I would!! The absolute WORST insurance company I have ever had!! We had all of our personal and business insurance with them, paying them over $20,000 per year. In November 2017, an uninsured motorist pulled out in front of my husband and he couldn’t avoid an accident. The entire front end and partly down the passenger side of his vehicle was heavily damaged. State Auto denied paying for the grille as they stated that it was previously damaged…FALSE!! The ONLY damage it suffered was in this accident! The adjuster was an ignorant smart mouth [Redacted] who did NOT have a clue as to what he was doing! We are now having to get an attorney to file suit against State Auto so they will finish paying the claim so we can finish getting our vehicle repaired!!

    Reply
  11. I was in a car accident and called my insurance. They had someone come look at it they wrote up an estimate of what it would cost to repair. They sent me a check and
    I put it in my account.
    I went to two repair shops and the second one is the one I went with. So I check my account and state Auto pulled the check out. I called and they said your husband called and had us put a stop payment on the check. I said what about my car getting fixed and [Redacted] said it’s up to your husband if your car gets fixed. I said that we are both on the insurance [Redacted], and he still said it was up to him. So I called a lawyer and he said well whose car is it and whose name is it in? I said my name and the insurance is in both our names. The lawyer said well the check should be in both names. So my car is only getting half fixed. I have been calling [Readacted] from state Auto for two days, no answer and no return calls.

    Reply
  12. I was in an accident with an insured of State Auto and my car was totaled due to her disregarding a traffic light..I have never been treated so badly ever….I had an Enterprise rental for 11 days that cost me $318.89 when I checked the car back in although I had been told that I would be reimbursed by my adjuster [Redacted] for any insurance coverage issues…I left messages and emails with him and my total loss adjuster but never heard back from either of them….once they got my title signed over because I was in desperate need to get another vehicle to get back and forth to my job I never heard from them again…I would NEVER recommend this company to anyone ever…I have never ever seen such poor customer service and I worked in a claims call center for almost 10 years….Shame on you!!

    Reply
  13. Horrible company! I went with a State Auto because they were cheaper. Worst decision I’ve ever made! They have horrible customer service. They gave me less than half of what my car was worth when they totaled it. Horrible customer service! I’ve never had an insurance company that was so awful. I will be looking for a new company.

    Reply
  14. THE WORST INSURANCE COMPANY I HAVE EVER BEEN A PART OF. YOU WILL HOLD FOR 45MIN TO AN HOUR , TO ONLY HAVE AN OPERATOR ANSWER AND IF YOU HAVE ALL NUMBERS IN YOUR POLICY YOU WIN A HOLD TIME OF OVER 1HR.

    NOT NEXT MONTH. HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!

    Reply
  15. STATE AUTO INSURANCE. BAD MEDICINE. THE WORSE customer SERVICE I EVER EXPERIENCED.!!!!!

    Reply
  16. ********BEWARE*********DO NOT USE STATE AUTO***************THEY WILL TAKE YOUR PREMIUMS
    If anyone is considering using State Auto do not waste your money. They will take you premiums for auto
    insurance but when it comes time to pay they deny the claims. My car was hit while parked and it was pushed
    up against a curb and State Auto has refused to pay the claim. I had a letter from mechanic that plainly said it was
    due to the accident and I also wrote the Insurance Commissioner of GA and they ask State Auto to get a independent person to come out and look and he also said it was due to the accident and AGAIN THEY REFUSED TO PAY. I AM GOING TO SUE THEM.
    DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THESE CROOKS.

    Reply
  17. Im having issues with this insurance company as well, someone hit my car whom have state auto here it is a week later and i still dot have a rental and they havent went to go look at the damages their client did to my car. if i dont hear anything by tomorrow i will be taking STATE AUTO to court.

    Reply
  18. We own a Car wash that has an automatic car wash. The car wash has a mechanism that measures the size of the car. The Sonar Sensor failed and scratched the vehicle and mirror on 8/9/17. We turned it in so the customer could get his car repaired. State Auto denied the claim. Our General liability declarations clearly shows coverages includes: Damage to property of others.
    State auto claims they are not liable because we were not negligent.
    Today is 8/31/2017 our customer still has not been able to fix his car. He received a denial letter and we did not. I have asked them several times to email me the denial and it still has not been received.
    I asked this to be elevated to a supervisor and they stand by there decision.
    I pay premiums to them on 11 car washes that we own. It is unacceptable that a policy could exclude coverage for our customers if we damage their cars. That is why we have insurance. Please help! The time to find out something as simple as this is not covered is not when you file a claim.
    BUYER BEWARE. You think you have insurance and you may not!!!!

    Reply
  19. I’m at no words of what I think of state auto. My premium was 54 dollars a month . I made a claim 2 months ago that’s never been done, whether it yes we will fix it or no we won’t. Guy that came was 3 hrs late. Never filed paper work, been 2 months. Get my statement for the year OMG premium goes from 54 to 143 a month, don’t think so. No one wants to take responsibility for why it went almost triple. I’ve talked to both the company and my local office over it . So at end of month I’m out of insurance out of a claim. The worst part is because of water damage, now that I’ve been done this way, I can’t get any insurance. Thinking at this point of getting an attorney and seeing what can be done because this isn’t right. My home didn’t get fixed, my yearly rates triple, and now as of the first of August 2017 I have no insurance and can’t get any. This is wrong. I do not recommend state auto to no one

    Reply
  20. Excellent customer service. [Redacted] was one of the nicest representatives.. I was short on time, a little stressed, they were getting ready to close, and she patiently went over my renters insurance and took care of faxing all the paperwork out for me. So thankful for her kindness over the phone, it really makes a difference

    Reply

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