Best Home Warranty Companies in North Carolina

By: Natalie Yerger

North Carolina residents tend to have a higher rate of homeownership than the rest of the nation, reflective of the value North Carolinians place on finding a place to call their own. But right alongside the joy of a cozy neighborhood and wraparound southern porch are annual home maintenance costs. A study found that 31% of new homeowners have nothing set aside to cover home maintenance costs, yet 44% run into an unexpected repair within one year of purchase.

In a state where homes are such a treasure, a home warranty offers much appeal. The most obvious advantage of a home warranty is that it covers breakdowns in major systems and appliances, and a warranty usually more than pays for itself if something expensive goes haywire.

If you’re looking for a home warranty in North Carolina, keep reading to learn about the best home warranty companies in the state, common home maintenance issues faced by North Carolinians, and important home warranty buying tips.

North Carolina’s best home warranty companies

  • 4 plans plus optional add-ons
  • No cap on HVAC coverage
  • Covers improperly installed or maintained items
  • B+ Better Business Bureau rating

  • 2 plans plus optional add-ons available
  • After hours customer service
  • 90-day repair guarantee
  • B rating with the BBB

  • 2 plans plus optional add-ons
  • Choose your own contractor
  • No cap on HVAC coverage

  • 3 plans plus optional add-ons
  • Free roof leak coverage
  • Responsive customer service

  • 3 plans plus optional add-ons
  • User-friendly online customer portal
  • A rating with the BBB

Home to the lively college towns of Boone, Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham, and Greenville, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Research Triangle Park, and a beautiful coastline, North Carolina has a natural beauty with geography that spans from sandy beaches to rolling mountains and bustling cities.

Commonly called the “Tar Heel State,” North Carolina was once known for producing pitch, rosen, turpentine, and tar. It’s also been called the Old North State. North Carolina also lays claim to Kitty Hawk, the remote location that provided the Wright brothers with perfect testing conditions for the first airplane prototypes. Perhaps even more interesting: North Carolina is home to America’s largest mansion, the Biltmore Estate, located in Asheville, NC.

North Carolina is situated in the southeast region of the United States. Bordered by Virginia to the north, South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west, it’s the 28th largest state in the U.S. The state bird is the cardinal and the state flower is the dogwood. The capital of North Carolina is Raleigh, but the largest city by population is Charlotte.

The average home cost in Wake County is 378,500, but the median home value throughout the state is $189,900, up an average of 7.2% from 2018 to 2019. With the market forecasted to continue to stay hot, there’s no better time to purchase a home warranty in the state than right now.

Top home maintenance problems in North Carolina

Depending on where you live in North Carolina, your home may face hurricanes, snow storms, ice storms, hail, thunderstorms, and year-round humidity. The seasonal conditions and occasional natural disasters can place a heavy load on your home.

When considering the best home warranty in North Carolina, it’s important to take inventory of the most common appliance and system breakdowns in the state. As you start to shop around, you’ll want to make sure the home warranty providers cover major systems and appliances and have generous caps for the following items:

  1. HVAC systems—North Carolina experiences some of the hottest and most humid summers in the U.S., meaning HVAC systems require annual checkups, if not repairs.
  2. Hot water heater—If not drained at appropriate times, hot water heaters can collect sediment, affecting their longevity. In winter, cold outdoor temperatures could force hot water heaters to work harder to bring water to temperature. 
  3. Roof leaks—Heavy rain, snow, ice, and foliage can impact NC roofs year-round, as can more traditional roofing problems, like nail pops and aged shingles.
  4. Stovetops and vent hoods—If you or previous owners weren’t vigilant about cleaning the stovetop and hood, dust and grease can gather over time and cause issues.
  5. Refrigerator—Most refrigerators last more than 10 years, but ice makers and refrigerators are still some of the most common appliances to require attention. In the summer, high temperatures and humidity cause refrigerators to work overtime to keep food cool.
  6. Dishwasher—Similarly, dishwashers last roughly 10 years but are bound to experience a breakdown at some point in their lifespan. If the cycle runs too long or dishes come out dirty every time, you’ll need to have it serviced.
  7. Clothes washer—Washers can encounter a plethora of problems, especially in the South where daily loads (thanks to perspiration from the heat) are common. The drain hose, fill hose, and drain pump are just a few of the pieces that can break down.
  8. Dryer—Lint buildup can affect a dryer’s efficiency, while air humidity and outside temperatures can cause issues and prevent the dryer from spinning properly.

Who is eligible for a home warranty in North Carolina?

Whether you’re looking for a home warranty for your Nags Head vacation rental or your ranch in Raleigh, there’s a home warranty company that has a plan that will fit your budget and preferences. Home warranties are available for single-family homes, duplexes, mobile homes, and other home types.

While nearly any home in North Carolina is eligible for home warranty coverage, keep in mind that not every system and appliance may be eligible for coverage. For example, heat delivery systems that use asbestos, grills, and registers are often not covered. Be sure to thoroughly review what is and isn’t covered by each provider’s plans before purchasing a home warranty.

What is covered under a North Carolina home warranty?

The coverage you’ll receive through your home warranty plan will depend entirely on the provider you choose, the plan you select, and whether you invest in add-ons from the home warranty company.

In general, home warranties in North Carolina can be broken down into a few types: partial coverage, comprehensive coverage, plans that cover only appliances, plans that cover only systems, plans that cover appliances and systems, and build-your-own plans that cover the systems and appliances you select. 

Here’s an overview of what each North Carolina home warranty plan from our list of recommended providers covers:

  • Choice Home Warranty—The Basic Plan covers everything from the heating system, plumbing system, and electrical system to the dishwasher and built-in microwave, but you’ll need to invest in the Total Plan to get coverage for the air conditioner, refrigerator, and clothes washer and dryer. 
  • 2-10 Home Warranty—There’s little that isn’t covered in 2-10’s three comprehensive plans, which include protection for the furnace, plumbing, washer and dryer, microwave, refrigerator and ice maker, dishwasher, oven, and much more. Unique add-ons like pre-season HVAC tune-up and additional refrigerators are available.
  • First American Home Warranty—The Basic Plan covers appliances, while the Premier Plan covers appliances and systems. This company offers no cap on coverage for heating, cooling, and ductwork. 
  • America’s 1st Choice Home Club—A great choice for older homes, AFC Home Club offers two plans that cover improperly installed or maintained items, in addition to the items that break down due to normal wear and tear, and there’s no cap for HVAC coverage. The Basic Plan covers appliances, while the Premier Plan covers both appliances and systems.
  • Select Home Warranty—The Bronze Care plan covers appliances, the Gold Care plan covers systems, and the Platinum Care plan covers both. Nearly all appliances and systems are included in these plans, respective to their coverage types, and pools, spas, roof leaks, and septic systems are optional add-ons. This company also allows for customizable home warranty plans, which is beneficial for those who want to cover only certain appliances.

MORE: Looking for customizable coverage? Compare Select Home Warranty plans.

How much does a home warranty cost in North Carolina?

The cost of a home warranty will vary depending on the provider and type of plan you choose. Other factors, such as your zip code and home’s age, may also impact price. In general, a home warranty can cost roughly $300 a year for basic coverage and $600 for more comprehensive coverage. However, keep in mind that this does not include other fees associated with your home warranty plan.

A service fee is standard in this industry and will be charged whenever a technician visits your home for a repair or replacement. Services fees are non-refundable and range from $75$125. Coverage limits are a cost consideration as well.

These details can be found in your home warranty contract terms and indicate the monetary coverage the home warranty company is willing to provide for each appliance if it does break down or require replacement. Any repairs and replacements exceeding these limits will need to be paid out of pocket by you. 

We recommend reviewing the fine print of each home warranty plan you consider for service fees, exclusions, and limits, especially for the systems and appliances you’ve had trouble with in the past.

How does a home warranty work in North Carolina?

A home warranty in North Carolina takes much of the burden off of homeowners’ shoulders if an item breaks down, but you’ll still need to take a few low-effort actions to ensure your home is taken care of. Let’s use the example of a dysfunctioning HVAC system in a Raleigh home. Here’s how a home warranty would work in this case:

  1. When you notice that the HVAC is acting strange, contact your home warranty company. You know that air conditioning is covered under your service contract.
  2. The home warranty company will put out a service call to a pre-approved technician—assuming you can’t choose your own—who will then contact you to schedule a visit at a convenient time.
  3. The technician will come to your home for the appointment and perform an inspection to diagnose the HVAC’s issue. In some cases, the technician may need to contact your home warranty company on-site to ensure that the fix or replacement required is covered by your home warranty plan.
  4. If the technician is able to perform the repair that day, they will. The tech should also inform you of any repair and replacement costs that exceed your home warranty plan’s coverage cap and communicate any out-of-pocket costs you may incur as a result of the repair.
  5. Once the technician has fixed the HVAC, you’ll probably sign some papers and they’ll be on their way. Your home warranty company will send you a bill for the pre-agreed upon service fee amount for the visit as well as any repair costs that exceed your plan’s coverage cap.

We hope this step-by-step helps you visualize how a home warranty would work in North Carolina. With an air conditioner in particular, a home warranty can save you nearly $1,500 per repair, but the best part is that you’ll return to the luxury of a cool home in the heat of summer as soon as possible.

Why is a home warranty in North Carolina necessary?

The phrase “home is where the heart is” rings true in the south, where large families, frequent hosting, and family-centric lifestyles are common. As such, your home’s systems get a lot of use, from kitchen essentials like the refrigerator and dishwasher to the appliances that keep your family’s clothes clean throughout the year. 

Not to mention, North Carolina’s temperamental weather poses a greater threat to home systems and appliances. Freezing cold can impact appliances that require water to work, as can humidity and extreme heat.

With the cost of home buying already high across the state relative to the rest of the nation, a home warranty can save first-time home buyers and experienced home buyers from the need to set aside thousands of dollars to account for any unexpected expensive repairs in the home’s first year and beyond.

Buying a home warranty in North Carolina

Prior to investing in a home warranty, do your research to make sure you’re choosing the right home warranty for you and your family. Here’s what we recommend taking into consideration prior to purchasing a home warranty plan in North Carolina:

  • Cost—Weigh the monthly and annual cost of the plan against the likelihood that an appliance will break down and their associated costs. Make sure you can afford the plan you choose.
  • Coverage—Whether you choose appliance-only, system-only, or comprehensive coverage is up to you. Read through contracts to ensure every appliance and system you feel concerned about is accounted for, especially the HVAC and other North Carolina essentials.
  • Service fee—The service fee amount will differ based on the company you choose, so make sure the amount is something you feel comfortable with in the case the need for multiple repairs arise within the first year.
  • Reputation—Is the company established? How long have they been in business? Do they have a favorable rating with the Better Business Bureau?
  • Reviews—Thankfully, trusted review websites like TrustPilot and the Better Business Bureau provide a window into a company’s customer satisfaction. Read through reviews from homeowners in your area to see if the company follows through on its promises.
  • Coverage caps—You’ll set yourself up for a major disappointment if you see the appliances and systems you need included in the contract without checking their coverage caps. Make sure caps for the appliances and systems you’re most concerned about have generous coverage caps. 
  • Flexibility—Does the company provide flexibility with regard to their plans, or are they rigid? If you know exactly which appliances and systems you want covered, consider a company that allows you to create your own plan. 
  • Special add-ons—If you have special concerns, like a second refrigerator, roof leaks, a pool, or a spa, choose a plan that has these as optional add-ons.
  • Waiting period—With every home warranty company, there’s a waiting period from the time you sign up for your plan to the date it goes into action. This is typically 30 days long, but some companies offer shorter waiting periods if you’re eager to have an active plan.

North Carolina home warranty reviews

Of our recommended providers, 2-10 Home Warranty is the most trusted among customers, with an A rating from the Better Business Bureau and positive reviews across many review websites. However, this isn’t to say that our other recommended providers don’t have positive reviews from North Carolinians. 

Of her experience with First American Home Warranty, Heather of Raleigh, N.C., wrote,

When I bought my house, I was provided a home warranty with First American and I just renewed it. That would have been going on two years in December. I like the reliability of First American. I call them when I have a claim and they are always really helpful. I actually called them at 10:00 at night. They answered the phone and helped me. That was pretty huge on a Sunday.”

Adrienne of Oxford, N.C. wrote about her positive experience with Choice Home Warranty on October 14, 2019:

Very informed CSR. Helped us quickly through the purchase process and explained in detail about the warranty coverage. The CSR also explained about the differences in coverage and pricing which made it a lot easier for us to decide which warranty would be best for us.

We recommend browsing trusted review websites like BBB.org and TrustPilot.com for more details from customers about their experience with our other recommended North Carolina home warranty providers.

Frequently asked questions

Is a home warranty worth it?

Repairing or replacing a major home appliance or system without a warranty can wreak havoc on your budget for the month or, worse, the year. If you need to be conservative financially, especially after a large investment in your home, a home warranty can save you money.

Do I need a home warranty if I have a manufacturer’s warranty?

A manufacturer’s warranty will cover just one system or appliance for a stated period of time. However, this coverage is often non-transferable, so if you’re not the original homeowner, you may not be eligible for coverage.

What are the limits for how much a home warranty company will pay out?

The exclusions and limits should be clearly defined in your home warranty contract. An important question to ask the provider is whether they’ll cover the cost of the item if it needs replacing. You’ll also want to ask if the coverage cap covers the total cost of a replacement plus installation.

Will I be charged again if a system is repaired and breaks soon after?

No, you shouldn’t be charged if the system or appliance you just got repaired breaks down. Good home warranty companies should address this fix for free.

Do home warranties protect against structural damage from hurricanes and other natural disasters?

No, they do not. A home warranty protects your home’s systems and appliances from breakdowns throughout the year, regardless of the environmental factors. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some providers may have limitations and restrictions written in the fine print of their contracts that bar them from providing coverage, such as improper maintenance or serious water damage.

Our conclusion

Charlotte and Raleigh are among America’s fastest growing cities, and other cities in North Carolina are following suit. With home prices likely to rise and humidity, hurricanes, and other factors that impact your home predicted to remain prevalent or worsen, a home warranty is a wise choice. 

If you’ve recently purchased a home in North Carolina, we recommend looking into a home warranty plan with one of our recommended providers: Choice Home Warranty, 2-10 Home Warranty, First American Home Shield, America’s 1st Choice Home Club, and Select Home Warranty.

Still not sure which North Carolina home warranty is right for you?

Compare other top home warranty providers in the industry.

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