Brittney Melton, owner of Moab’s State Farm Insurance, manages her policy on an early Tuesday morning. [Photo by Travis Holtby/Moab Sun News]

If your house burned down tomorrow, if your boat sank, if your car got totaled in an accident, would your insurance cover it? Most people who have insurance would say, yes. But Brittney Melton, a State Farm agent here in Moab, said that almost everyone that she has met is under insured.

It’s not necessarily that people don’t have insurance, but rather that they don’t know what their insurance covers. Fixing that problem is Melton’s favorite part of her job.

“The best part of doing this is helping people make better decisions about what they are doing and what they are paying for,” Melton said.

George J. Mecherle would be proud.

Mecherle founded State Farm 90 years ago with that idea of individual focus as one of the core principals that he built his business on. In 1922 the Midwestern farmer decided that it was ridiculous for him to be paying the same rates for auto insurance as someone in Chicago, so he started State Farm. The idea was that having an insurance company owned by its policyholders would enable the company to better serve them. It seems to have worked; State Farm is ranked 37th on the Forbes 500 list of America’s top revenue earners.

Though Melton is the latest face of State Farm in Moab, she is hardly the first. She follows Jim Englebright, who in turn followed Jim Gardner. Englebright worked for State Farm for 32 years before deciding that it was time to move on. When he began looking for a successor, Melton was in the right place at the right time.

“I had a turn-key deal. I took over when Jim left. Most of what you see, he did, but I added my own touch. He was great and let me sit in for a month before opening (so I could) learn things,” Melton said.

Though Melton’s timing certainly was lucky, it was her experience that sealed the deal.

She earned a degree in business administration at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo. Then she worked for Wells Fargo Bank in Montrose, Colo. Wanting to be closer to home, Melton transferred to Wells Fargo’s Moab branch, where she eventually rose to the rank of branch manager, a position she occupied for a year.

At that point Melton and her husband were starting a family and she decided that she needed a more flexible schedule.

“The career change was a huge leap of faith, but I couldn’t give up this opportunity,” Melton said.

She didn’t. It took five interviews, a 32-page business plan presented in front of seven people, an application for the Moab site, and final interview. She got the job.

The drive that Melton brought to the application process she has carried to the managing of her business, said Lora Dalaba, the officer manager.

“Jim was more established and laid back. Brittany is more of ‘what are we going to do and how are we going to do it?’ She is more aggressive in going after our goals,” said Dalaba, who has worked at Moab’s State Farm for 15 years.

Melton has also expanded her business to include an office in Monticello, and now has a total of 2,164 policies that her offices and team manage. She is also currently looking for someone full-time to help her run the Monticello office.

In addition to the time she spends working and with her family, Melton also coaches the high school girl’s golf team and is the assistant coach for the girl’s volleyball and softball teams.

The overlap in skills between her professional and volunteer life is one of the factors that Melton believes have helped her to succeed.

“Educating people on insurance is like coaching my team. I like spending the time to get them to understand,” she said.