BTA, Latvia: over EUR 7 million profit and steps forward to the European expansion

12 February 2014 — Daniela GHETU
The Latvian insurer BTA ended 2013 with a 12.2% increase in GWP, to EUR 160 million, while paid claims amounted to EUR 77.8 million, 13% up y-o-y. According to the company's unaudited results, the profit amounted to EUR 7.1 million. "I am very satisfied with the 2013 results, as we have not only reached our targets, but even exceed them," stated Janis LUCAUS, member of the BTA's Board. He explained that the company's results are satisfactory not only because of the high growth rate in underwriting and its profitability, but because these good results came mostly from the core business field as a result of the improving balance of the technical account. "Profit from the direct insurance activity increased by two times and a half due to the optimization of internal processes, the decrease of administrative costs, information technology improvement, as well as the successful development of insurance products and customer service," he added.

Among the BTA's main business lines, the most impressive growth rates were achieved in Motor Hull (+ 21.5%) and property insurance (+18.8%). The GTPL insurance ( +12.7 %), MTPL insurance ( +12.4 %) and travel insurance ( +11.5 %) also witnessed significant increases in premiums written. "We are pleased to see such high growth rates on the voluntary insurance lines," said LUCAUS. "This shows that people are increasingly valuing the importance of insurance. Accident insurance was purchased not only by legal entities in addition to employees benefits programs, but also by individuals, thus providing to compensate, even partially, the relatively expensive treatment costs that may arise in cases of injury and potential loss of income during the sick time. Last year natural disasters - storms hail - caused substantial damages to both immovable and movable properties. It is true that such events make people think more and more about the necessity of purchasing insurance policies, thus protecting themselves from unexpected expenses," added LUCAUS.

On the paid claims side, the largest increase in insurance claims was recorded for the health insurance (+40.5%), accident insurance (30.5%) and travel insurance (26%) lines. According to the NTA representatives, indemnities paid for cost of the health insurance increased mostly as a consequence of the unavailability of state-funded services, which determined more and more people to take charge of specialist's services.

Gross claims paid also increased on the motor insurance segment (CASCO +18.3 %, MTPL +14 %). Admittedly, 2013 maintained all year long a growing trend for road accidents, with an increasing share of heavy road traffic accidents leading to a gradually higher level of vehicle insurance compensation.

In the BTA's insurance portfolio for 2013, MTPL insurance held the largest share (48.8%), followed by Motor Hull (17.1%) and property insurance (14%).

Continuing its strategic expansion towards the EU countries, BTA registered a branch office in France in 2013, the fifth in Europe. In January 2014, BTA opened a branch office in Poland. Currently BTA owns subsidiaries in Lithuania, Estonia, Germany, UK, France and Poland, and offers services in Italy and Spain on a free cross-border services basis.

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