4 Reasons Lubbock Texas is Dangerous
Steady economic growth, a low cost of living and growing population make Lubbock, TX a great place to call home and live. Over 300,000 people call Lubbock home and the city is expected to grow 7% through 2022. Our diverse economy and job market outpace many other areas of the United States.
Yet all this growth has led to one major downside: high crime. And it’s not just man-made danger either. Lubbock routinely experiences hazardous weather conditions. Lubbock is included in the infamous “Tornado Alley” and has a high number of lightning strikes, hail storms, floods, and other unpredictable weather patterns. There’s a reason Lubbockites famously say, “If You Don’t Like the Weather, Wait Twenty Minutes.”
All of this danger, unfortunately makes Lubbock a high cost market for insurance. Danger creates unpredictable risks, which increases claims and costs for insurance companies. Let’s explore the top 4 reasons Lubbock is considered a dangerous place to live.
1. Drunk Driving
Using Texas Department of Transportation data, a Houston law-firm recently compiled a list analyzing each Texas city’s rate of drunk driving deaths. Lubbock rounds out the top 10 with nearly 360 drunk driving crashes each year.
In addition to death, drunk drivers also cause injuries and property damage costing millions. Lubbock has outranked other Texas cities in the past with a high number of DWI arrests for the city population. In 2018, 390 arrests were made for DWI charges compared to 492 in 2017. These arrests reveal a high risk of drunk drivers and car accidents.
Consider drivers with a record of DWI are often uninsured or underinsured, leaving their victims grieving, injured and further burdened financially. Moving to or already live in Lubbock? Adequate auto insurance is crucial for protection against drivers guilty of DWI.
Here are some recent headlines that highlight the problem:
- Drunk driver kills 19-year-old woman
- Cyclist killed in accident near 11th & Slide, woman charged with DUI
- Person parked at rest stop killed after other vehicle loses control: DPS says speed and alcohol are considered to be factors in this accident.
- A family and their infant were severely injured, when a drunk driver crashed into their home. The crash spawned a civil lawsuit against the drunk driver and three establishments that the family believes over served alcohol.
Adequate car insurance doesn’t always require comprehensive coverage. If you only want a liability policy, you can still get insurance to protect against uninsured and underinsured motorists. This option helps repay any lost wages from an accident, vehicle repairs and medical bills for you and passengers.
2. Violent Crime
Lubbock has topped lists in the past for crime. However, many of the articles are now outdated. An article from TexasPoliceNews listed Lubbock sixth in Texas for most dangerous city, but it was written in 2015. In Forbes, Lubbock also ranked sixth, back in 2011. Other neighborhood and comparison sites have missing or outdated information.
Recent news reports leave out Lubbock in top 10 and 20 rankings of dangerous Texas cities. Many of these new rankings include much smaller cities with crime as a percentage of population. Other factors for a less dangerous Lubbock include lower arrest numbers and a higher population. From 2011 to 2017, Lubbock population estimates grew from 233,610 to 253,888, an 8.6% increase.
2018 Estimates on Crime from the FBI
According to a 2018 FBI Uniform Crimes Report, Lubbock was ranked 6th out of Texas cities (over 100,000) for Violent Crime (Rape, Murder, Rape, Robbery and Aggravated Assualt). Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin all had higher numbers and are much larger cities. However, as a percentage of population, Lubbock was only behind Houston and Beaumont, TX with violent crime affecting 0.49% of the population. Of the Violent Crimes, Aggravated Assault was the worst category and had Lubbock tied with Odessa in first place and a rate of 0.36%.
300 – 400 rapes occur each year in the South Plains area, with 17 percent of the rapes involving strangers.
For the most violent of crimes, 2015 set a record for homicides in Lubbock with 16 murders taking place in the Hub City, although only 6 occurred in 2018.
3. Property Crime
For Property Crime, the ‘Hub City’ was ranked first for Texas cities (as a percentage of population) with 2.16% of the population experiencing property crime in 2018. Property Crime includes Burglary, Larceny-Theft, Vehicle Theft and Arson. Of the Property Crimes, Larceny-Theft was highest in Lubbock, affecting 1.49% of the population. This put Lubbock tied with Amarillo in second, behind San Antonio. Larceny/Theft involves any stolen property while Robbery involves threat of force or intimidation and Burglary requires entering a structure to steal property.
With these kinds of numbers, you need to have good property insurance. A solid insurance policy can cover loss of property, but it can also cover damage to your property. Your insurance should cover anything outside or inside your home. For example, if someone kicks in your back door and rips a wall safe out of the closet, both damages should be covered. In some cases, your homeowners insurance will cover items stolen from your vehicles, too.
4. Weather Damage in Lubbock
In 1970, an F5 tornado flattened downtown. Since then, Lubbock county averages four tornadoes and 1 fatality each year.
In addition to tornadoes, the South Plains area is affected by damaging weather each year. Hurricane force winds, with sustained gales of 50 to 75 mph are common in the spring. These high winds rip off and damage shingles on roofs and break down trees.
2016 smashed records for a blizzard that hit in the new year, bringing snow drifts of up to four feet. The blizzard killed livestock, caused accidents and led to water damage in homes and businesses.
Hail is another weather event that is common in the area. In 2016, Lubbock and surrounding communities experienced record hail and flooding. It has now become common for devastating storms to affect Lubbock at least once a year.
Storm property damage requires comprehensive auto insurance, to protect from acts of nature. A home insurance policy with hail, lightening and wind coverage is also recommended. Flood insurance could be needed, depending on where your home is on the flood map.
Dangerous, but Still a Great Place to Live
All of this danger can make insurance rates expensive, compared to other parts of the U.S. and Texas. 2015 statistics put Lubbock County in the top ten for property damage and comprehensive auto insurance claims.
Yes, Lubbock TX is a dangerous place to live, in many ways. But danger makes West Texas what it is. It’s an unforgiving climate with forgiving people and a friendly business atmosphere. Despite the crime, accident, and weather statistics, we know Lubbock to be among the best places to live. That’s pretty indicative of the opportunities available in Lubbock. Just make sure you have the proper insurance!