The bottom line:
State Auto sells insurance packages with many perks and extras in 28 states, but it has a high number of complaints for auto insurance.
Pros & Cons
- Offers numerous discounts.
- Extensive coverage and package options available.
- Not available in all states.
- Has more auto insurance complaints than companies of a similar size.
- Some coverage is available only through insurance packages.
Based in Columbus, Ohio, State Auto Insurance offers auto, home and various other insurance policies in 28 states. Quotes are not available online, and policies are sold through independent agents only.
Liberty Mutual is expected to acquire State Auto in 2022.
» MORE: Best auto insurance companies
State Auto insurance coverage
When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's a combination of coverage types, like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.
Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:
What it pays for
Bodily injury and property damage liability
Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.
Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.
A car loan or lease may require it.
Repair costs from events outside of your control, including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.
A car loan or lease may require it.
State Auto offers the usual car insurance coverage such as liability insurance, as well as extras available only through its two packages, Protection Plus and AutoXtended Premier, described below.
Protection Plus includes the ability to add safety glass coverage, which pays for glass damage if it wasn’t caused by a collision.
The AutoXtended coverage endorsement is also part of the Protection Plus package, and includes:
Bail bonds coverage for bonds related to an accident that caused an injury or property damage.
Accident forgiveness and minor violation coverage, which may prevent you from getting a surcharge after your first accident or minor violation if you’ve had no traffic incidents for a set length of time.
Customized equipment coverage, which pays for damage to equipment that wasn’t installed at the factory or dealership, such as a custom engine or new stereo system.
Death indemnity, which pays a set amount if the policyholder dies in a car accident.
Total disability, which covers lost wages if you’re disabled as the result of an accident.
Attorney fees coverage, which pays your lawyer fees if you’re arrested for causing injury in an accident.
Rented vehicle coverage, which covers the cost of car rental, including any repairs if you damage the rented vehicle, with no dollar limit.
Cell phone coverage, which pays to replace or repair your phone if it’s damaged in a car accident, up to $500.
GPS coverage, which pays for repairs or a replacement if your GPS is damaged.
Emergency ambulance coverage, which covers up to $10,000 for emergency transportation after an accident.
Locksmith services or key replacement, which pays up to $250 if your keys are lost or stolen.
Pet coverage, which pays up to $500 if your animal dies or is injured in a car accident while in a vehicle you’ve insured with State Auto.
Waiving of deductible for certain types of claims.
AutoXtended Premier includes higher coverage amounts for some of these options. For instance, emergency ambulance coverage has a $25,000 limit, and cell phone coverage is increased to $1,000.
State Auto offers additional auto insurance options like:
Rideshare insurance. Uber and Lyft will cover you while you’re carrying passengers or on the way to pick them up, but not while you’re waiting for ride requests. Rideshare coverage fills the gap.
Auto replacement cost. If your car is declared a total loss when it’s two years old or less, State Auto will pay to replace your vehicle.
Total loss plus. If your car is more than two years old when it’s totaled, State Auto will either pay to replace it with a model one year newer or give you 120% of your car’s value at the time of the crash, whichever is less.
» MORE: Compare car insurance rates
Auto insurance discounts
Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for discounts for:
Insuring more than one vehicle.
Having State Auto home or umbrella insurance in addition to auto coverage.
Having anti-theft devices.
Paying your full premium upfront.
Taking a driver education class if you’re age 21 or younger. South Carolina drivers are eligible up to age 25.
Having good grades or leaving the car at home while attending school.
Completing an accident prevention course if you are age 21 or older.
Switching to State Auto car insurance if you’ve been with another carrier for at least six months, in most cases.
Pricing based on tracked driving habits
State Auto’s Safety 360° program uses an app and a tag placed on your windshield to track driving habits like acceleration, braking and miles driven.
You receive a discount for joining the program, and — based on your driving behavior — may save more money when you renew your premium. In some states, your rates may increase if you’re deemed an unsafe driver.
Auto insurance buying guide
Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.
When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll receive.
Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.
State Auto homeowners insurance
State Auto offers three home insurance packages: Standard, Protection Plus and Premier. These options let you choose the best package for you based on the amount of coverage you want:
Standard may include:
ID fraud expense services if you’re the victim of identity theft.
Replacement cost value, which pays for brand-new replacements for damaged or stolen items, instead of their depreciated value.
Protection Plus includes:
Lock replacement coverage, which pays to change your locks if your keys are lost or stolen.
Freezer contents, which pays up to $1,000 for freezer or refrigerator contents lost due to a power outage or breakdown.
Golf cart rentals coverage, which pays for damage or injuries resulting from a golf cart rental.
The HomeXtended endorsement, an optional add-on that’s available only through State Auto’s home insurance packages, includes extra coverage for your home and belongings, such as:
Cell phone and GPS coverage, which pays to replace or repair your items, up to $500 each.
Computer personal records, which pays to replace or restore lost information.
ID fraud expense, which provides up to $10,000 of identity theft recovery services.
Fire extinguisher coverage, which pays to replace or recharge your fire extinguisher.
False alarm coverage, which pays out if the police or fire department responds to a false alarm.
Personal property business use, which covers up to $5,000 of equipment — like tools, computers or printers — if used in your home for business purposes.
Mortgage and related extra expense, which helps pay for appraisal and application fees when you get a new mortgage.
Premier includes everything under the Protection Plus package in addition to:
Extra coverage for valuable items like jewelry and fine art.
Volunteer wrongful acts, which pays for costs associated with errors or negligence as a volunteer.
The HomeXtended endorsement.
Coverage options included in State Auto’s packages are also available individually unless otherwise noted.
The insurer offers additional optional coverage such as:
Blanket personal property, which has one limit for everything in a certain category, like jewelry.
Earthquake coverage, which pays for damage from an earthquake.
Home-sharing, which provides coverage for damage when you rent out your home through a home-sharing network like Airbnb.
Home systems protection, which pays to repair or replace electric equipment as well as property damage due to a breakdown.
Ordinance or law, which pays additional costs associated with updating your home to current building codes during covered repairs.
Personal injury, which extends your liability coverage to include things like libel, slander or false arrest.
Scheduled personal property, which provides extra coverage for high-value items such as jewelry. An appraisal may be required.
Service line, which covers repairs or replacement costs for damaged pipes or wires.
Water backup, which pays for damage caused by water overflowing from drains or sewers.
Home insurance discounts
Depending on where you live, you may get a discount for:
Having protective devices like burglar or fire alarms.
Owning a fortified home that protects against hurricanes, hail and other severe weather.
Your roof construction, based on material and age.
Switching to State Auto home insurance if you’ve been with your previous carrier for at least three years.
Owning a newly constructed home.
Getting a home insurance quote at least eight days before your policy renews.
Having State Auto umbrella or auto insurance in addition to home insurance.
Relative to its size, State Auto had more than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It had close to the expected number of complaints for home insurance.
More about State Auto insurance
Website: State Auto’s website lets you submit and track claims and make payments online. However, you’ll need to contact an agent to change your policy, update contact information or get new ID cards.
Other insurance from State Auto
Besides auto and home, State Auto offers the following insurance policies:
Boat and yacht insurance.
Farm and ranch insurance.
Auto insurance ratings
NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.
Frequently asked questions
You need to contact an independent agent to get a State Auto quote or buy a policy.
You can file a claim through the State Auto website.
State Auto does not have an app where you can manage your policy or pay bills. It does have an app, Safety 360°, that tracks your driving behavior.