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Beginning in 1921, founder Robert S. Pein borrowed $30,000, hired 3 employees, and wrote policies from a home office located in Columbus, Ohio. In the early years, policies covered only auto insurance. Pein desired to create a company that would offer a different sort of auto insurance. His vision was to present policyholders with affordable rates and timely, adequate services. Innovative for his time, Pein would create a foundation of customer service operating through independent agents. This effective handling of policies and the members is to date, the only method used by State Auto.
Like many other newly founded companies in the 1920's, State Auto was faced with the financial struggles of the 1930's. After experiencing the steady successes through the 20's and having moved from the home office to larger facilities, Pein scaled back to once again smaller office space, yet continued to grow during the struggling economy. During the nation's depression, a new director would take position of State Auto and expand its area of service to include Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee, creating more then 700 jobs. The expansion did not stop with the 3 states; rather, it continued into Maryland, Michigan and South Carolina. Into the mid 1930's, State Auto had only offered auto insurance. Not until the war conflicts arose in the 1940's, when the manufacturing of passenger vehicles was focused entirely on war production materials, was State Auto forced to consider new areas of revenue. Expanding from auto insurance, State Auto would offer the first full coverage bicycle insurance, which would later expand, covering Business, Home, Auto, Farm and Boat.
Awarded A+ (Superior) rating in 1954 by A.M Best Co, State Auto became one of the 14 insures to receive such recognition to this day. Throughout the years, State Auto would continue to grow, acquiring the Midwest Insurance Company and expanding its coverage area currently operating in 29 states.
State Auto car insurance offers a program titled CutomFit. The premise of the program is to allow policyholders to customize the policy needs best suited for the individual. Other programs included Prime of Life, offered to drivers over 45 years of age, with a qualifying vehicle and various other requirements. Other products offered by State Auto car insurance are Auto Replacement Cost Coverage and State Auto National Insurance. State Auto is an independent agent insurance company and as such, products offered are discussed and qualified, varied from state to state and available depending on driver eligibility.