Insurance Company Finally Pays Residents 10 Months After Buffalo Pool Party

After 10 long months, a British couple is finally receiving money from an insurance company to pay for repairs caused by a herd of escaped buffalos that dropped by their yard for a pool party.

Andy and Lynette Smith said that the 18 escaped water buffaloes caused more than $31,000 in damage when they wandered onto the couple’s property. Eight of the animals even took a quick dip in the swimming pool of their Wivenhoe, Essex, home.

The animals then proceeded to stomp across the property, ruining fencing and flower beds along the way.

After the incident, the couple said it was hard to get any help from the authorities. “When my wife went to make the morning tea, she glanced out of the kitchen window and saw eight buffaloes in the pool,” Andy Smith said.

He added: “She called 999 and was told the fire brigade don’t accept hoax calls. It took some persuading to get them to take us seriously. When they arrived, one of the buffaloes, spooked by their hi-vis jackets, headed straight at them.”

The owner of the animals was eventually called to the property and was able to round up the uninjured animals. And while the farmer’s insurance company, NFU Mutual, accepted liability for the damage to the pool and the yard, they ran into trouble when it came time to agree on a settlement.

“This pool was our retirement luxury bought when I sold the business, which I’d spent years building up. It was earned by a lot of sweat and toil, but after the buffaloes’ swim it was leaking 75 gallons a day and was unusable,” Andy said.

After 10 months of deliberations, NFU Mutual finally agreed to pay the full amount of the damages.

“We apologize for the delay paying this claim and in particular the initial wait for an inspector’s visit, which took too long and fell short of our usual standards,” a company spokesman said. “We have a duty to all of our members to ensure we validate the cost of claims and in this instance, we needed to gain further assurance around the costs involved in repairing the damage.”