State Auto Financial Named “Best Managed” by Forbes

December 29, 2005

Columbus, Ohio-based State Auto Financial Corporation has been named by Forbes Magazine as its Best Managed Company in the insurance industry for the year 2006.

State Auto’s ranking appears in the January 9, 2006 issue of the magazine that listed the 26 “Best Managed Companies” in America.
Forbes culled their results from a list of more than 1,000 publicly trraded companies that have at least 1 billion in sales, positive book value and a price of at least $5 per share.

Audit Integrity, a financial analytics firm, was hired by Forbes to develop an overall score on each company based on accounting and governance practices, financial condition and earnings quality. The list is eventually reduced to the Platinum 400, also known as Forbes’ Best Big Companies in America, a distinction which STFC has earned for a second straight year.

“According to Forbes, the list is narrowed to exactly 400 companies. Then editors and writers evaluated the leading companies in each industry in the areas of innovation, efficiency and market leadership. Through additional objective and subjective analysis, they selected the best-managed company in each of 26 industries.

Forbes noted that “Every year since its public offering in 1991, State Auto’s combined ratio (premium income divided by claims and related expenses) has beaten the industry average by a wide margin. Earnings-per-share growth in the past 12 months was 47 percent and return on capital 16 percent.”

State Auto’s CEO Bob Moone stated in an Associated Press story that, “On behalf of all State Auto associates and the 22,000 independent agents who make up our only distribution system, we are proud to have earned this recognition. STFC’s commitment to unrelenting attention to and execution of the fundamentals of our business has led to sustained positive return on capital, sales and earnings growth. Our selection as the Best Managed Company in the insurance industry places State Auto among an elite group of insurers.”

State Auto Financial Corporation, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is a property and casualty insurance holding company engaged primarily in writing both personal and commercial lines of insurance.

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