Insurance company BTA was founded on 1 November 1993 with the participation of the largest marine companies in Latvia that became shareholders of BTA. On 17 December of the same year, BTA received a licence that entitled it to start operating in the insurance market.
In 2002, BTA expanded its business by acquiring a Lithuanian insurance company (currently BTA Draudimas), in turn, in 2006 it started operating in Estonia. Since March 2007, BTA has been the leading company in the Latvian insurance market. In 2009, BTA became the third largest insurer in the Baltic States.
BTA closed 2011 with 3.17 million in profit after tax, which is a decrease from 2010. The principal reasons for this decrease in profit include fierce competition and lower return on investments. Nevertheless, BTA is a leader among insurance companies registered in Latvia in terms of gross premiums written, paid out insurance indemnities, balance sheet totals and technical reserves.
In 2011, the gross premiums written by BTA amounted to LVL 83 million, which is more than in 2010 by 15%. In total, in 2011, the Company concluded over 2 million insurance contracts, which is more than in the previous years by approximately one fifth, attesting that BTA is expanding its business and the European insurance sector is recovering.
Gints Dandzbergs, Chairman of the BTA Supervisory Board: “Even though the profit is lower than in 2010, looking back to the overall situation in the Latvian insurance sector, it can be described as positive. One of the main reasons for the decreased profit is the decrease in profitability of investments in the global markets in 2011 and intense competition. We are satisfied that we manage to retain a stable profit level, which allows us to keep offering our customers insurance services with the most advantageous conditions.”
BTA is the leader of the Latvian insurance market, not only in terms of written premiums but also in terms of paid out insurance indemnities – insurance indemnities paid out in 2011 were practically equal to the amount paid out in 2010 – LVL 46.2 million. The largest insurance indemnity was paid out for guarantee insurance – LVL 2.5 million, the second largest – LVL 1.3 million – for property insurance and the third largest – LVL 1 million for general civil liability insurance.
Speaking of overall BTA indicators in terms of gross written premiums, in 2011, the operational result of BTA in Latvia and Lithuania was within the limits of one third, the company also successfully operates in Estonia. BTA also offers its services in other European countries – Germany, France, Spain and Poland. In Poland, the operational results were very good and last year, BTA sales significantly increased.
“We have already mentioned that an economic crisis is a time of opportunities. It encouraged many businesses, including us, to develop new business visions and plans. Even though the initial goals looked rather ambitious, after investing certain resources, time and work, they started fulfilling and yielding a return. In such a way, a few years ago, we felt that the opportunities in the Latvian market would become limited and we decided to work on entering new markets in other places in Europe. Today, BTA sales outside Latvia are already significant. And this is only the beginning. In December 2011, we opened a BTA branch in Great Britain were we perceive great business perspectives; we have also launched business in Italy. We are one of the pioneers in our sector that started exporting financial services. The experience gained in insurance, 18 licenses in all possible basic fields of insurance, loyalty and trust of customers proves that we are an insurer that can be trusted and that can develop and offer a wide and interesting range of services. Those are also important preconditions of a successful business in foreign markets,” – G.Dandzbergs commented.
In February 2011, BTA successfully completed its transition to the form of operation as a European Company, merging the Lithuanian company BTA Draudimas and the Estonian subsidiary with the insurance company registered in Latvia. After the reorganisation, BTA was registered with the European register and got a new name – BTA Insurance Company SE. It allows increasing the company’s business efficiency, unifying and centralising various administrative processes, which are the key preconditions for a stable BTA operation in the insurance market in the future and the ability to actually protect the interests of policyholders. In total, today there are four BTA branches registered in Lithuania, Estonia, Germany and Great Britain. In addition, BTA started operating in other European countries – Spain, Poland, France and Italy.
Today, BTA has all 18 non-life insurance licenses available in Latvia which allow the company to offer the widest range of insurance services to individuals and legal entities. The most popular fields of insurance offered by BTA are CASCO, MTPL health and property insurance. BTA works hard to retain the loyalty of customers and develop its sales network. Simultaneously, the company continues working on improving its insurance services, making them simpler and more understandable to customers. Great attention was paid to the improvement of internal processes and servicing quality. BTA services and consultations are available both at client service centres all over Latvia, on the website www.bta.lv and by calling the Client Support Line at +371 26121212 at any time of the day, including weekends and holidays.