State Auto Review: Auto / Homeowners Insurance Price Competitiveness, AM Best Financial Strength Ratings & Complaints 2009-2014

This State Auto Insurance review will evaluate, for the most recent six year period where reliable statistics are available (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, & 2014), the home & auto insurance complaint record for the subsidiaries of State Auto Insurance, to determine whether each subsidiary, such as Meridian Security Insurance Company or Milbank Insurance Company or State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company, has a better-than-average, average, or worse-than-average customer complaint record. This review will also look at the AM Best & JD Power ratings for State Auto, as well as the price competitiveness for State Auto home & car insurance.

The smart insurance buyer shops for the best combination of coverage, price, and service, so be sure to use the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to get price quotes from multiple insurance companies and find the best insurance company for you.

The detailed information in this review compares State Auto’s auto & home insurance to the industry average and competing companies for customer service, claims processing performance, customer complaints, financial strength, and insurance rates, but if If you don’t want to read all the details, you can skip to the end of this review and read the summary, or go to this review on my website here, to see at a glance if State Auto consistently performs better than average, average, or worse than average for customer service, claims, and pricing, and compare State Auto to over 40 other U.S. auto & home insurance companies.

I update my reviews throughout the year as new data becomes available, so be sure to bookmark or place my website in your favorites, so you can keep up on how State Auto and other major insurance companies perform in the future. If the information in this review helps you, please like this review on Facebook and share the link to it on the Web and through social media.


State Auto Insurance Complaints & Ratings Review

The State Auto insurance companies began in 1921, and sell auto & home insurance through 3,400 independent insurance agencies located in 33 US States. The corporate headquarters for State Auto is in Columbus, Ohio, Regional headquarters are located in Nashville, Tenn., Indianapolis, Ind., Columbus, Ohio, Austin, Texas and Baltimore, Md. You can see if there is an independent insurance agency representing State Auto close to you, by visiting the State Auto website.

This State Auto Insurance review is divided into five sections, consisting of: 1. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for the State Auto companies, 2. Any recent JD Power ratings for State Auto, 3. the auto insurance customer complaint ratings for the State Auto companies, and 4. the home insurance customer complaint ratings for the State Auto companies, and 5. a review summary, analyzing the competitiveness of State Auto insurance rates, based on trends for its auto & homeowners insurance market share.

1. AM Best Financial Strength Rating for State Auto Insurance Companies in this Review

The State Auto companies (State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company, Meridian Security Insurance Company, Milbank Insurance Company, Patrons Mutual Insurance Company of Connecticut, State Auto Insurance Company of Ohio, State Auto Insurance Company of Wisconsin, State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Plaza Insurance Company and Rockhill Insurance Company) had their AM Best Financial Strength Rating downgraded from “A” to “A-” (Excellent) on 04/28/2015, but with a stable financial outlook (no ratings upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future). This is the first rating change for the State Auto companies since they were downgraded from A+ in 2011. The A- rating with a stable outlook was again affirmed on 6/26/2016. The AM Best rating of “A-“ is the fourth highest rating for AM Best.

The AM Best financial strength rating is not a measure of customer service or claims handling, but a measure of the ability to pay claims and stay in business. Although State Auto has competitors with higher financial strength ratings, I don’t recommend using higher AM Best ratings as a selection criteria, unless you’re also sure of similar or better claims and customer service from the higher rated companies. However, I do recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto or home insurance company or subsidiary with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best.

Source: State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company AM Best rating

2. JD Power Customer Satisfaction & Claims Satisfaction Ratings for State Auto Insurance

State Auto has not been rated in any of the annual JD Power insurance studies in the last several years. Although State Auto is a large auto & home insurer, it does not have enough market share nationally, or in any one state or US region, to be included in the JD Power ratings. State Auto not being rated by JD Power is not a negative or a positive, it means there is one less objective source to evaluate the customer service provided by State Auto.

Source: JD Power Insurance Ratings

Homeowners & Auto Insurance Complaint Record for the State Auto Companies 2009-2014

You may really like your car or home insurance company, or you may have heard from relatives or friends about the insurance companies they think are best, but you never really know how good your insurance company will be, until you have a serious claim. A great way to evaluate an auto or home insurance company’s claims service is to look at its customer complaint record.

A measure of quality for an auto or homeowners insurance company is the number of upheld complaints filed against it with a state’s insurance regulatory authority, compared to the industry average and competing companies. Some of the most common reasons, for people to file auto & home insurance complaints with a state insurance department against insurance companies, are for delays in a claim payment, unsatisfactory payment of a claim, and denial of a claim.

Sections #3 & #4 of this review will show you if State Auto auto & home insurance has a better-than-average, average, or below-average complaint record, based on its 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 customer complaint statistics. These sections of the review provides valuable information, to help you decide if State Auto, or a competitor, like State Farm or Farmers, is a better insurance company for you. By choosing a company with a better-than-average complaint history, or at least avoiding companies with consistent, worse-than-average complaint records, you decrease the likelihood you will have a negative experience, when you need your auto or home insurance company.

The complaint statistics, called complaint ratios, used in this State Auto Insurance review are the number of upheld complaints filed against each of the State Auto companies with a state’s insurance regulatory authority, adjusted for each subsidiary’s market share, as determined by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The complaint ratios for the State Auto insurance companies listed below display the ratio of the company’s U.S. Market Share of closed complaints compared to the company’s U.S. Market Share of premiums for a specific policy type. Complaint ratios lower than “1” have less complaints than average, and complaint ratios over “1” have more complaints than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the less complaints against the company. Ideally, you want to choose an auto or home insurance company with complaint ratios less than 1.00 each year, at least over the most recent three years.

So you don’t have to worry about comparing complaint ratio numbers, I devised a rating system to help you identify if State Auto has a good or poor complaint record.

Here’s how I establish my auto & homeowners insurance complaint ratings:

B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.

C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company. I use a minus sign (-) to indicate auto insurance complaint ratios slightly worse than average (1.01 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.99 to .75).

W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.

I prefer companies with the longest recent history of “B” ratings each year (or at least in the most recent three years). Companies with “B” or “C+” ratings are okay, too, particularly if they have less market share, with less than $50,000,000 in premiums for that line of insurance (auto or home) each year. I prefer to avoid companies with a consistently higher than average number of complaints, or with inconsistent complaint records, unless there are mitigating factors, such as very small market share.

3. State Auto Insurance Companies’ Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

State Auto Insurance has eight subsidiary companies insuring private passenger vehicles in the 33 states where State Auto operates. The use of more than one auto or home insurance subsidiary company is usually to offer different pricing to specific risk profiles (for example, drivers with a clean driving record vs. drivers with tickets and accidents), operate in a certain US state or group of states, or offer different lines of insurance, such as motorhome or motorcycle insurance. You may be eligible for multiple State Auto subsidiaries. Each subsidiary has its own rates, so the price for auto insurance with the same coverage will most likely differ among subsidiary companies.

Some prior State Auto subsidiaries have recently been discontinued. Farmers Casualty Insurance Company was merged into State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company, State Auto Florida Insurance Company and Beacon National Insurance Company were merged into Meridian Security Insurance Company. Litchfield Mutual Fire Insurance Company & Beacon Lloyds Insurance Company were dissolved.

Meridian Security Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.21)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $147,857,786

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.21)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $153,951,526

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.30)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $153,062,552

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.17)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $148,418,617

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.37)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $136,735,541

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.07)

Milbank Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.16)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $45,040,652

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.38)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $47,220,616

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.62)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $43,492,232

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.39)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $43,566,909

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.56)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $45,564,287

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

Patrons Mutual Insurance Company of CT Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.36)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $29,071,686

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.86)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $29,176,850

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.70)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $25,744,365

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.83)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $20,616,663

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.55)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $15,529,907

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.07)

Patrons Mutual Insurance Company of CT is available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, & Vermont Only.

State Auto Insurance Company of Ohio Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $34,132,871

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $35,701,848

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $37,774,554

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.66)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $38,509,256

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.42)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $39,859,318

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.89)

State Auto Insurance Company of OH is available in Ohio only.

State Auto Insurance Company of WI Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.49)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $13,989,588

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.35)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $16,077,103

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $18,749,484

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.68)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $22,261,259

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.68)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $24,841,233

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.66)

State Auto Insurance Company of WI is available in the state of Wisconsin only.

State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.04)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $170,008,730

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.78)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $183,160,701

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.63)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $189,304,989

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.39)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $189,826,818

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.16)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $203,544,262

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.98)

State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.75)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $106,772,038

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.47)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $118,294,162

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.31)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $124,460,800

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.19)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $128,948,597

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.68)

2010 US auto insurance premium = $136,810,147

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.60)

Plaza Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (4.72)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $13,218,601

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.67)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $16,089,571

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (4.57) (only 1 complaint)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $1,980,098

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = No auto insurance policies in force.

2011 US auto insurance premium = $0

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = No auto insurance policies in force.

2010 US auto insurance premium = $0

2009 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = No auto insurance policies in force.

4. State Auto Insurance Companies’ Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

State Auto Insurance sells home insurance through the eight subsidiary companies listed below.

Which State Auto Insurance subsidiaries are available to you may depend on the state in which you live, or which independent insurance agents you contact, and other factors. You may be eligible for multiple subsidiaries. Each subsidiary has its own rates, so the home insurance price for the same coverage will most likely vary among subsidiary companies.

Meridian Security Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.68)

2014 home insurance premium = $13,528,349

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.73)

2013 US home insurance premium = $15,061,931

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (4.29)

2012 US home insurance premium = $17,007,910

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.94)

2011 US home insurance premium = $18,262,284

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2010 US home insurance premium = $18,856,574

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.50)

Milbank Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.12)

2014 home insurance premium = $40,861,861

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.40)

2013 US home insurance premium = $39,420,353

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.18)

2012 US home insurance premium = $34,371,343

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.27)

2011 US home insurance premium = $32,174,457

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.30)

2010 US home insurance premium = $30,798,514

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

Patrons Mutual Insurance Company of CT Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2014 home insurance premium = $18,859,798

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.65)

2013 US home insurance premium = $16,882,234

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.09)

2012 US home insurance premium = $14,918,779

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.43)

2011 US home insurance premium = $19,775,842

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.49)

2010 US home insurance premium = $18,621,560

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.01)

Patrons Mutual Insurance Company of CT is available in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, & Vermont Only.

Rockhill Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2014 home insurance premium = $4,905,503

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (9.01) (only 1 complaint)

2013 US home insurance premium = $1,222,402

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2012 US home insurance premium = $1,320,719

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2011 US home insurance premium = $1,279,097

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2010 US home insurance premium = $1,130,072

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

State Auto Insurance Company of Ohio Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.37)

2014 home insurance premium = $24,567,424

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.42)

2013 US home insurance premium = $26,359,165

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.31)

2012 US home insurance premium = $26,365,668

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.35)

2011 US home insurance premium = $24,417,950

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2010 US home insurance premium = $23,101,620

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

State Auto Insurance Company of Ohio is available in Ohio only.

State Auto Insurance Company of WI Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.01)

2014 home insurance premium = $9,071,576

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.09)

2013 US home insurance premium = $10,080,545

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.75)

2012 US home insurance premium = $10,758,877

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.33)

2011 US home insurance premium = $10,998,660

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2010 US home insurance premium = $11,450,861

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.38)

State Auto Insurance Company of WI is available in Wisconsin only.

State Auto Property & Casualty Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.36)

2014 home insurance premium = $194,577,602

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.61)

2013 US home insurance premium = $198,091,501

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.89)

2012 US home insurance premium = $191,695,609

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.81)

2011 US home insurance premium = $168,571,048

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.68)

2010 US home insurance premium = $160,046,061

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.98)

State Automobile Mutual Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than Average C = Average W = Worse than Average

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.77)

2014 home insurance premium = $59,252,224

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.05)

2013 US home insurance premium = $62,926,473

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.89)

2012 US home insurance premium = $63,483,859

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.14)

2011 US home insurance premium = $62,765,821

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.28)

2010 US home insurance premium = $65,252,570

2009 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.80)

5. State Auto Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer service & rates for State Auto Insurance, to see if it performs better than average, average, or worse than average.

State Auto customer & claims service for auto insurance, as measured by its 2012-2014 complaint record for its largest subsidiaries (except Meridian Security Insurance Company):

Worse than Average

Meridian Security Insurance Company 2012-2014 auto insurance complaint record:

Better than Average

State Auto customer & claims service for homeowners insurance, as measured by its 2012-2014 complaint record for its largest subsidiaries:

Worse than Average

How does State Auto Insurance compare to major auto & home insurance companies, like State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, GEICO, Progressive, and others? Compare State Auto with over forty other companies at my review here.

AM Best Financial Strength Rating for the State Auto companies:

“A-” (Excellent) (Fourth highest rating)

JD Power Auto & Homeowners Insurance Claims & Customer Satisfaction Ratings:

State Auto is not rated in any recent JD Power insurance studies.

State Auto Homeowners & Car Insurance Rates

For pricing, the most reliable way to know if State Auto has high or low rates, is to conduct your own pricing survey, by obtaining price quotes from all the leading insurance companies in your state, to find the best company for you. However, a recent rapid increase or decrease in market share may indicate whether a company has higher or lower insurance rates for at least some people applying for auto or homeowners insurance.

If you look at the annual auto insurance premiums for the State Auto subsidiaries in section #3 of this review, their auto insurance market share has decreased from 2013 to 2014, which may indicate the State Auto subsidiaries no longer have competitive auto insurance rates.

If you look at the annual home insurance premiums for the State Auto subsidiaries in section #4 of this review, most of them have decreasing or flat home insurance market share from 2013 to 2014, which may indicate most State Auto subsidiaries no longer have competitive homeowners insurance rates.

Milbank Insurance Company and Patrons Mutual Insurance Company of CT (licensed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont only) saw slight growth in their homeowners insurance market share from 2013 to 2014, which may mean these two subsidiaries may have more competitive homeowners insurance rates.

Rockhill Insurance Company saw large homeowners insurance market share growth from 2013 to 2014, but it is still a very, very small insurer of homes. However, it may be growing by having competitive homeowners insurance rates.

Some insurance companies charge some customers twice as much for the same coverage as other companies. If you haven’t shopped your auto or home insurance in the last few years with at least five other companies, there is a good chance you are paying too much. Has your agent or company ever thoroughly reviewed your coverage, policy limitations, & exclusions? Shopping is a great way of getting additional opinions about your coverage from other insurance professionals. Use the ad below to find the major auto, home, & life insurance companies in your area, review your coverage, and get price quotes.

Thanks for reading this State Auto Insurance review of its auto & home insurance complaints. You can find other reviews of leading auto, home, & life insurance companies on my website & blog. What do you think of the State Auto insurance companies? Did you find this review useful? Comment on my facebook page. If you have questions, you can reach me at help@smartshopyourcarinsurance.com. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news & new blog entries at CarInsWatch. Visit my site to see reviews for all the leading auto & home insurance companies in the USA. How is your insurance company rated? Does it have a lot of customer complaints? Find out at my home page at smartshopyourcarinsurance.com