Frequently asked questions


If you've got questions about how Best Doctors® works, what it covers, who is eligible, or just about anything else, we have the answers right here.

​1. What is Best Doctors?

Best Doctors is a unique service which provides expert medical advice from the world's leading medical specialists, giving customers peace of mind about their treatments and diagnoses.

2. How does Best Doctors work?

If a client has access to Best Doctors and is diagnosed with a significant medical condition, they can call Best Doctors and will be connected to a leading specialist for advice. Best Doctors will guide the client through the process, helping them to understand their options and giving them and their treating doctor the information necessary to ensure they receive the best possible treatment.

3. Why should I use Best Doctors?

Best Doctors has helped thousands of people to obtain expert advice about their health and to make informed healthcare decisions. Additional information on the service can be found on

4. How can I get access to Best Doctors?

Access to Best Doctors is available as part of Sovereign's TotalCareMax policies with Specialist and Diagnostic Testing. If you interested in this particular benefit, please talk to your adviser, or call Sovereign on 0800 500 108 and we can put you in touch with an Adviser near you.

5. When can I expect to receive confirmation on the service if I take out the Specialist and Diagnostic Testing Benefit?

A welcome letter and brochure is included with eligible customers' policy documents.

6. What if I cancel my Specialist and Diagnostic Testing Benefit?

The Best Doctors service is only available to eligible customers (including their immediate family) while the Specialist and Diagnostic Testing Benefit remains active.

7. If I'm an eligible customer, my immediate family will also have access to Best Doctors, so how would you define 'immediate family'?

Immediate family means the life assured, their partner (spouse, civil or de facto) and any birth child or child under legal guardianship of the life assured and/or the life assured's partner and the parents of the life assured and/or the life assured's partner.

8. What if I have children who currently live overseas? Will they be able to access Best Doctors?

Any children as defined under the description of immediate family can access Best Doctors regardless of their current country of residence. Please contact Best Doctors using the 0800 provided in the welcome pack to confirm the appropriate contact number to use from overseas.

9. Which illnesses or conditions does Best Doctors review?

In general, Best Doctors will arrange advice about critical illness, chronic or degenerative conditions, regardless of whether it is a condition that Sovereign might pay a claim for. Best Doctors provides a 'second advice' service, so it is expected that the client would have initially seen a specialist in New Zealand.

You can access Best Doctors regardless of whether your condition is covered by your policy, as long as your Specialist and Diagnostic Testing benefit remains active.

10. Which illnesses or conditions does Best Doctors not review?

Best Doctors will endeavour to assist all clients when they use the service and there is sufficient information available; however, there may be circumstances where the service cannot be provided. These include conditions that require face-to-face contact, for example:

  • Acute conditions and during hospitalisation
  • Mental health conditions

11. How long does the medical review process take through Best Doctors?

The turnaround time from initial contact (which normally takes around 24 hours for initial contact confirmation) through to review completion is estimated to take between 2-3 months in total. However, each turnaround time will depend on the complexity of the case, and whether additional pathology tests may be required during the review process.

12. Will the Best Doctors service affect a potential insurance claim with Sovereign?

Best Doctors will not share their findings with Sovereign, and use of the service will not affect assessment of a claim.

13. Does the client have to have made a claim with Sovereign in order to access the service with Best Doctors?

The client can contact Best Doctors at any time. The service is not subject to any claim, and the illness or condition does not have to relate to the benefit or product the client has through Sovereign.

14. How many times can I access Best Doctors if I'm an eligible client?

Eligible clients can contact Best Doctors at any time during the life of their policy. The service is available as often as the client needs during this time. However, the client must have an active policy.

15. How is privacy impacted?

Sovereign only provides Best Doctors with policy numbers for identification purposes. We do not provide names and address of clients who are eligible for access to Best Doctors.

16. What is my Adviser's role With Best Doctors?

If the eligible client needs to use Best Doctors, they can contact Best Doctors directly. Advisers are not required for the ongoing access and use of the services provided by Best Doctors.

17. Will my GP be able to contact Best Doctors on my behalf?

The client is responsible for initiating contact with Best Doctors; however, there may be circumstances where the doctor or specialist may want to work with Best Doctors. The contact between the doctor or specialist and Best Doctors will be based on the client's consent.

18. How does Best Doctors work with the medical community?

Information has been provided to key representatives in the New Zealand medical community about the service and how it works.

Best Doctors will work with a client's New Zealand GP or specialist, so long as the client authorises this. It is a complementary service, and is not designed to undermine current medical advice being received. Furthermore, Best Doctors will only review the client's medical records in order to provide the service. It is fully compliant with the Privacy Act.


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The information contained on this website is general in nature and is not intended as advice. It may not be relevant to individual circumstances and before making any investment, insurance or financial planning decision; you should consult a professional adviser. Copies of our disclosure statements are available on request, free of charge.​