If you bank with Barclays and pay to get insurance 'extras' – for example via its Barclays Additions account – you should urgently check if you've activated these; otherwise you won't be covered if something goes wrong.

Unlike most packaged bank accounts, which do it automatically, Barclays requires customers to activate its mobile phone, extended warranty and gadget cover or it's not valid. The same's true with its travel insurance, but only if you have a pre-existing condition.

If you haven't done this, you could be wasting up to £210 a year. See our Reclaim Package Accounts guide for help getting your money back if you think you've been sold worthless cover.

How do I know I'm affected?

Barclays stopped selling package accounts between 2008 and 2012, although existing customers could continue paying the fee to use the extra benefits. The package accounts Barclays sold (alongside the fee) are as follows:

  • Premier Life (£17.50/month)
  • Additions Plus (£16/month)
  • Additions Active (£15/month)
  • Additions (£13.50/month)
  • First Additions (£6.50/month)
  • Current Account Plus (£6.50/month)

From 2012, Barclays also began offering those with its standard free current account the option to buy a package of extra insurance benefits costing £9.50/month.

Whichever type of account you have, check now if you've activated your insurance perks.

Martin Lewis
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How do I activate Barclays' insurance perks?

The table below shows how to activate Barclays' insurance perks.

How do I activate my package account perks?
Provider Service Need to activate? How do I activate the insurance?
Barclays (i) Breakdown cover No N/A
Extended warranty Yes Call 0800 158 3199
Gadget cover Yes Online or call 0800 158 3199
Mobile phone insurance Yes Online or call 0800 158 3199
Travel insurance (no pre-existing conditions) No N/A
Travel insurance (pre-existing conditions) Yes Call 0800 158 2688
Information correct as of 7 Oct 2015. (i) Includes both customers with a historic 'package' account and those with a current account who pay for a monthly insurance pack.

Are package accounts worth it?

Package accounts can cost up to £25, and if you're not using the benefits you're probably wasting your money.

Also, if you were flogged one by a pushy sales agent or were told it was right for you but actually you don't qualify for the benefits, because you're over a certain age for example, you could be owed serious cash, as banks have been found to have systemically mis-sold them. See our Reclaim Package Accounts guide for help reclaiming.

If you're using the benefits of your package account, do a calculation to ensure you can't get cheaper cover separately elsewhere.

Don't think about it as costing £15 a month, for example, always multiply the monthly cost by 12 to get the cost per year (£180 in this scenario), and compare insurance costs to see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere.

See our Cheap Travel, Mobile and Breakdown insurance cover guides, and our Bank accounts with benefits guide for help getting the best buys.

Bank with Barclays? Beware if you pay more (eg, Additions accounts) for insurance
Warning: Barclays account holder? Check if extra insurance perks need activating

'Packaged accounts are either a very good thing, or a very bad thing'

Helen Saxon, senior money analyst at MoneySavingExpert.com, says: "Packaged accounts are either a very good thing, or a very bad thing; there's usually no middle ground.

"Used well, these accounts can save you around £500 a year compared with buying all the insurances they provide separately.

"But, if you can't or don't use the benefits, then they're a colossal waste of money. If you have, or get, a packaged account, always make sure it'll save you, not cost you."

Additional reporting by Anthony Forchione.

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