Strong growth momentum is likely to be a key theme as the Target Markets Program Administrators Association (TMPAA) conducts its latest biennial State of the Program Business study on a segment it last estimated at $40.5bn of premium based on 2018 data.

Target Markets US program sector

The trade body is in the process of carrying out its 8th survey of the US programs sector in partnership with insurance industry data and analytics specialist Advisen, now part of Zywave.

As well as quantifying the size of the US program sector and other benchmarking information, the confidential survey will collect data on emerging issues, such as the role of insurtech and the evolution of cyber cover.

It will also examine the impact of Covid-19 on the sector and the effect of the hardening market on program administrators, MGAs and carriers operating in the segment.

AM Best’s move to introduce performance assessments for delegated underwriting authority entities such as program administrators and MGAs is also likely to be identified as a key development this year.

Participants have until the end of August to provide their responses to the survey.

Target Markets president Chris Pesce

Results of the survey are published in full to participants and presented at the TMPAA Summit in October, which this year takes place in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Commenting on the survey, Target Markets president Chris Pesce described it as “one of a kind”.

“It’s the only study that’s generating statistics about this industry directly from the PAs themselves as well as from the carriers that are in the program space. It’s directly tied to their feedback and that makes the data unique,” said Pesce, who is also director of operations at One80 Intermediaries.

“This is the ultimate peer review and there are not a lot of other benchmarks out there for those in the program sector to measure their success or to get real industry insights. We urge all players in the US program sector to take part,” he added.

Growth trajectory

The last report from Target Markets in 2019 estimated that the size of the market had risen by 12 percent over the previous two years from $36bn in 2016, continuing a growth trajectory that saw it expand from $17.5bn in 2011 when it conducted its inaugural survey.

The expectation is that the 2020 data reported for the new study will demonstrate an acceleration in growth, as the sector has benefitted from the hard market pricing conditions and a wave of start-up program activity, including insurtechs entering the space.

It will likely also reflect the surge of business flowing into the E&S market that is continuing to spawn new opportunities for new programs to be launched and existing programs to grow.

While there are varying estimates of the size of the sector, with some sources putting it in the $50bn to $60bn of premium range, the Target Markets study is the only one that focuses exclusively on US program business.

It typically gets close to 200 program administrator participants as well as more than 50 program carriers responding.

In total in the US there are estimated to be between 900 and 1,000 program administrators operating in the US.

Despite consolidation in the industry, Target Markets membership has continued to grow, and there are now 330 program administrators, 70 carriers and 110 service providers that are members of the association.

This year, Target Markets hopes to see increased responses from newer entrants to the sector, including insurtechs and program fronting carriers.

Program Administrators and Carriers looking to participate in the study can go to www.targetmarkets.com for information.