Burial vaults offer more protection for loved ones.

When buying a funeral policy you may come across the term ‘burial vault’. So, what is a burial vault?

A lot of people would say it’s a small room built above ground to house remains., which is correct, however, we are talking about something that is a lot more compact.

  • A burial vault is a sealed and lined receptacle for the casket.
  • It prevents the coffin being damaged when the grave is being filled in.
  • Being lined and sealed, it also helps to keep water out.
  • You can choose to have it personalized to fit better with your loved one’s style.
  • The vault reduces the chances of the ground subsiding when the coffin starts to decay.


A burial vault fits around the coffin and provides protection for it. It’s fully sealed and lined to ensure that water and soil are not able to get in. The vault also protects the coffin from the amount of soil used to fill in the grave as the coffin itself can be fairly fragile.

Without a burial vault, the coffin is bound to decompose eventually and this will result in soil subsidence over the grave.

What is a Burial vault and What type of Vaults do you Get?

What is a burial vault?This is going to depend on your budget and which option you choose, you could be looking at a substantial expense.

Fortunately, many funeral policies will allow you to choose this option because they understand how expensive funerals can be. If you would like to receive and compare quotes from the top South African insurers, just complete and submit the form on this page.

There are usually three broad categories of vaults.

Premium Vaults

These are the top of the range and offer the very best in terms of durability and protection. They are ideal if you are concerned with subsidence and water damage. The vaults in this category normally incorporate strong metal such as bronze and steel into their design and are either double or triple reinforced.

Standard Vaults

These are not as expensive and offer good protection against subsidence. The walls are reinforced with stainless steel as well as high-impact plastic and finished off with high-strength concrete.

Basic Vaults

These are the plainest of all options and meant for the budget-conscious. The walls are made up of high-strength concrete reinforced with plastic. The walls are single reinforced.

This does provide protection against subsidence and water-damage but it will not last as long as the other two options.


Most companies offering a burial vault will also allow some customisation of the vault itself. This could be in the form of a favourite family photograph, a picture of a place the person loved or a personal message.

The photographs and messages can normally be placed in a special capsule built into the burial vault. Alternatively, some companies are able to blow up the picture and use it to cover the lid of the vault.

At the end of the day, the choice of whether or not to use a burial vault is your own. It is an interesting concept to consider, though.

What is a burial vault?  Now that you know, get a FREE funeral cover quote. Just fill in the form.


All info was correct at time of publishing