Arafa Nassib was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment by Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday, while her son Adil Kasim received a 12-month community order.
The pair have been convicted of falsely claiming 48-year-old Nassib died in a car crash in Zanzibar in April 2016.
Scottish Widows referred the case to the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) last November after the insurer became suspicious of the documentation provided by Kasim.
In May 2016, Kasim made a claim to Scottish Widows against two of his mother’s life insurance policies - one worth £115,267, and another worth £21,263.
False death certificate
Kasim, the beneficiary of the claim, sent Scottish Widows a letter with a death certificate from Zanzibar.
It was claimed Nassib had died at a hospital in Zanzibar, however when investigators travelled to Zanzibar they found she had not been treated there, nor had she been treated by the doctor who Kasim had named in a life insurance questionnaire.
Insurer also found that the death certificate and road traffic accident reports provided were false. When the insurer contacted Zanzibar death registry office, it was revealed that Nassib was not buried at the location claimed.
In fact, the investigation found Nassib flew back to Birmingham from Zanzibar on 6 May 2016, when she used her mobile to call her son.
Hiding out in Canada
Kasim was arrested on 22 December 2016; and, while in police custody, admitted he and his mother had planned the fraud and that his mother was now living in Canada to avoid detection.
Officers made contact with Nassib while she was in Canada and she was arrested on her return to the UK on 8 February 2017.
The court heard how Nassib was in debt to the tune of £80,000 with UK hire purchase firms such as BrightHome, which she said was getting hard to manage
In a statement, detective constable Daryl Fryatt, the officer in charge of the case, said: "Nassib and Kasim exploited the insurance industry for their own monetary gain, going to great lengths to try and avoid detection. Nassib moved her entire life abroad simply to try and avoid the consequences of faking her own death.
"[This] case shows that those who commit insurance fraud will be caught and put before the courts. Our extensive work with the insurers in this case has led us to a successful conviction and these unremorseful fraudsters have finally been brought to justice."
A spokesperson for Scottish Widows said: "We have robust fraud prevention measures that enabled us to identify this fraud quickly and refer it to the City of London Police's Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department."