3.4 / 5

State Auto Car Insurance Review

State Auto offers many insurance options and discount opportunities for drivers in 33 states. However, annual rates and customer complaints are higher than average.

Anna Swartz 1600

By

Anna Swartz

Anna Swartz

Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius, specializing in auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Mic, The Dodo, AOL, MSN, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.

Published May 7, 2021|7 min read

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State Auto

OVERALL

3.4

THE GOOD

    Robust coverage options

    Solid discount selection

    Unique perks

THE BAD

    Our sample quote is higher than average

    No online quote tool

    Customer experience is lacking

THE BOTTOM LINE

Ohio-based State Auto, which has been around since 1921, offers many insurance options and discount opportunities for drivers in the 33 states where policies are available. However, our sample quote was higher than the industry average, which may be unaffordable for some drivers. And customer complaints are higher than average, according to third-party sources. But even with higher-than-average premiums, State Auto could be worth it for the robust coverage options.

Cost

Average annual premium cost for auto insurance coverage and number of discounts available.

4.0

Confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.5

Customer Ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

7.4

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique auto insurance product features and availability of certain perks and benefits.

9.5

Customer Experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, points of contact, payment options, and claims ratings.

5.3

STATE AUTO COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

N/A

J.D. Power surveys rate based on product offerings, price, billing process, interaction, and claims. An overall satisfaction score of 4 denotes a company “better than most".

J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

B

An A+ denotes a score between 97 and 100 (out of 100) based on 13 criteria, including unanswered complaints, type of business, and government action.

BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A-

A.M. Best ratings range from A++ to D. An Ai rating denotes an "excellent" company based on their ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.

A.M. Best Rating

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry

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The Details

The Good

Robust coverage options. State Auto offers three distinct package tiers for auto insurance, all of which come with all the coverage drivers need to protect themselves and their vehicles. 

Solid discount selection. State Auto has a solid list of discounts for drivers, including savings for paying your policy up front, bundling your auto with home insurance or another policy, and taking driver’s education courses. 

Unique perks and features. Drivers looking for coverage for their pet or protection for their smartphones will likely want to consider one of State Auto’s higher coverage tiers. The higher tiers also include ambulance and locksmith/key replacement coverage.  

The Bad 

Our sample quote is higher than average. We found State Auto to be more expensive than most competitors, but higher rates for one customer don’t necessarily mean higher rates for everyone, and some drivers will see competitive rates with State Auto.

No online quote tool. State Auto has no online quote generator on its website, so it can be difficult to shop around and compare prices. However, an insurance marketplace Policygenius can provide an individualized quote for State Auto coverage. 

Customer experience is lacking. State Auto has a mixed scorecard when it comes to customer satisfaction and overall customer experience. There are no real digital tools available, no mobile app, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners report more complaints than the industry average. 

The Breakdown

Cost

Average annual premium cost for auto insurance coverage and number of discounts available.

4.0

The cost of car insurance varies between individual drivers. Factors that are unique to you, like age, credit score, driving history, the state where you live, and the make and model of your car will help determine how much you’ll pay for a policy. For that reason, it can be difficult to estimate how much a State Auto policy would cost any given driver.

But, we can still look at a sample quote to see what a single male driver in Texas was quoted — $2,337 in total for the year. This is significantly higher than the national average of $1,189.64 a year, per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Here are the details of the sample policy: 

Basic CoveragesPolicy Limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Property damage liability$50,000 each accident
Personal injury protection$40,000 each person
Uninsured motorists bodily injury$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Comprehensive$1,000 deductible
Collision$1,000 deductible

Rates current as of February 2021. The above numbers are based on a sample profile. Rates will vary for each applicant based on location, driving history, vehicle, drivers included on the policy, and other factors.

While that annual premium looks high, that won’t be the case for every driver with State Auto insurance. Some shoppers may find that State Auto is an affordable option, especially if they qualify for discounts. 

Discounts

State Auto has a solid selection of discounts that can help lower your rates. There are the usual savings such as paying your whole policy premiums up front, a discount for taking a driver’s education course and for bundling your auto policy with a State Auto home, condo or renters policy.

State Auto offers a usage-based discount through its Safety 360 program, which is basically a safe driving discount attached to a smartphone app that tracks your driving habits and awards savings for safe driving. This could be useful for safety-minded drivers who want to save more on their premiums.  

Another nifty discount is State Auto Start-Up, a sort of early signing bonus. Customers who have a policy with another carrier can switch to State Auto before their current coverage runs out. 

Here’s a list of the discounts available with State Auto:

  • State Auto Safety 360 discount. Let an app track your driving habits and earn savings for safe driving. You can get a 10 percent discount just for participating

  • State Auto Start-Up discount. Save if you have an existing auto insurance policy with another company, then switch over to State Auto. Savings depend on how long you have left on your current policy

  • Accident prevention course: Save if you’re 21 years old or older, and completed an accident prevention course within the last three years

  • Anti-theft device discount. Save if your vehicle is equipped with an anti-theft system

  • Driver training discount: Save if you’re 21 or older, and you’ve completed a driving education course

  • Good student discount. If you’re a full-time student with a 3.0 grade average or higher, you can save on rates

  • Multi-car discount: Two or more vehicles (including motor homes, registered golf carts, and off-road vehicles) on the same policy may get you a discount

  • Multi-policy discount. Get a discount by bundling a home, renters, or other type of policy with your auto insurance

  • Paid-in-full discount. Pay your entire policy up front and save

Remember that all discounts will vary by state, as well as by your driving record and other personal information.  

Confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.5

Checking in with credit rating agencies is a decent indication of how well a company is doing financially. Financial firms such as A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s measure the stability of insurance companies to see if they can pay out your claims. 

Founded in 1921 in Columbus, Ohio, State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company offers auto, home, condo, renters, umbrella, business, and farm and ranch insurance. They’ve been around a while now, but, unfortunately, there’s only one major financial rating available for them, from A.M. Best. That’s the rating we’re basing our score on.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Year founded: 1921

  • A.M. Best: A-

  • Better Business Bureau: B

  • Moody’s: N/A

  • Standard & Poor’s: N/A

Credit rating firm A.M. Best focuses specifically on the insurance industry. Their A- rating for State Auto means customers can expect to have their claims paid out without worry.

The Better Business Bureau ranks companies based on the truth of their advertising and on complaints from customers. They give State Auto a B. 

Analysis firm Standard & Poor’s has not scored State Auto. Moody’s does not have a current rating either.

Customer Experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, points of contact, payment options, and claims ratings.

5.3

While choosing an insurance carrier, it’s important to see what regular customers are saying. Are they satisfied, or could things be improved? 

We have limited information available on how real customers feel about State Auto. They’re not included on J.D. Power’s auto claims satisfaction survey, and they’re absent from the reviews available on Consumer Affairs. Our best bets for now are Consumer Reports, Consumers Advocate, a third-party review site, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which tracks complaints.

Here’s what they say:

  • Consumers Advocate: 3.6 / 5

  • Consumer Affairs: N/A

  • Consumer Reports: 79 / 100

  • J.D Power: N/A

  • NAIC complaint index: 0.65

Consumers Advocate pays attention to company reputation, policy features, and stability. They give State Auto a 3.6 out of 5. 

Customer review site Consumer Affairs does not have a State Auto page.

Consumer Reports aggregates reviews from its readers. They rate State Auto in the yellow-green, or nearly above-average, with a score of 79. State Auto’s best scores were for claims handling and service, and its worst were for how satisfied readers were with the cost of their premiums.  

J.D. Power did not include State Auto in its latest U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. According to their complaint index, State Auto has a score of 0.65. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, with a zero meaning there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. Based on that, State Auto has fewer complaints than the industry average.

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique auto insurance product features and availability of certain perks and benefits.

9.5

State Auto offers three separate package tiers: Standard, AutoXtended Plus, and AutoXtended Premier.

Standard includes what you’d expect from a basic auto insurance policy. The others include a few unique add-ons such as pet and phone protection. 

Here’s how they break down: 

Standard coverage options

  • Bodily injury liability coverage. This protects you from financial burden if you’re responsible for injuries to another driver or their passengers in an accident. 

  • Property damage liability coverage. Covers the cost if you damage you cause in an accident. 

  • Personal injury protection. If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, this will pay for medical expenses or lost wages.

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This will cover the costs if you’re in an accident caused by a driver without insurance, or whose insurance doesn’t cover all of the damage they caused.

  • Collision coverage. This covers the costs of damage to your car after an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

  • Comprehensive coverage. Also called “other than collision,” this covers the costs of damage to your car that’s not caused by a car accident, including damage from animals, extreme weather, floods, fire, falling objects, theft, and vandalism.

The AutoXtended Plus tier includes everything in the Standard package, plus perks such as accident forgiveness and minor violation coverage, full safety glass coverage, $500 of cell phone coverage, $10,000 of emergency ambulance coverage, $250 for locksmith coverage, and $500 for pet coverage. There’s also rented vehicle coverage, which covers the cost of a replacement rental car if yours is being repaired after a covered loss.

The AutoXtended Premier tier includes everything in Standard and AutXtended Plus, but with higher limits for the additional coverage. 

Additional perks and features

State Auto customers can add the following optional coverages to any of their plans. 

  • Full safety glass coverage. This covers replacement or repairs to the glass on your vehicle. There’s no deductible for a glass claim when damage isn’t caused by collisions, such as extreme weather, falling objects, or vandalism.

  • Accident forgiveness and minor violation coverage. This will help cover expenses associated with minor accidents or violations such as fender benders or rolling through a stop sign.

  • Ridesharing coverage. If you’re driving for a ridesharing service such as Uber or Lyft, you’ll be covered if you’re in an accident while on the clock. 

  • Roadside assistance coverage. State Auto’s roadside assistance provides towing, fuel delivery, tire replacement, and more for policyholders.

  • Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts coverage. You can get your vehicle repaired with manufacturer parts rather than aftermarket parts (if your vehicle is under 10 model years old).

  • Auto replacement cost coverage. For an additional premium, auto replacement cost coverage is available for vehicles that are within 2 model years of the policy date.

Other types of insurance offered

State Auto has several other insurance offerings available, including:

  • Homeowners insurance. Coverage for a home you own.

  • Business insurance. Coverage for your business. 

  • Condo insurance. Coverage for everything in your condo not already covered by your HOA policy.

  • Farm and ranch insurance. Coverage for your farm or ranch. 

  • Renters insurance. Coverage for your belongings if you rent a house or apartment.

  • Umbrella insurance. Increases your liability coverage, so you’re more protected in case you cause injury or damage to someone else or their property

Customer Experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, points of contact, payment options, and claims ratings.

5.3

State Auto doesn’t have much in the way of online tools. Since everything is done through independent agents, there’s no coverage calculator or quote tool on their website. That can make shopping around and comparing prices on different policies difficult. However, you can get a quote through an independent marketplace like Policygenius and find out your options with State Auto.

What you will find on their site: a helpful breakdown of coverage options, a few blog articles, and an agent locator so you can find someone to talk to. 

State availability

State Auto offers auto insurance through independent agents in these 33 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. 

Application process

To apply, you will need to call an independent agent, like our experts at Policygenius. You can also find a local State Auto agent through a tool on the company’s website.

Payment methods

State Auto lets customers pay a few ways:

  • Online through their website

  • Over the phone with a credit card

  • Via check or money order

Digital tools

The closest thing to a digital tool is the State Auto Safety 360 program, which requires you to download a mobile app to track your driving habits. Otherwise, there’s an agent locator on their website, but State Auto doesn’t have the digital tools that some of its competitors offer. 

Claims process 

State Auto policyholders can submit or track a claim online or over the phone.  

Contact info

Website: www.stateauto.com

Phone: 1-833-724-3577

Headquarters: 518 East Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43215