As an owner of a late-model, heavily-modified, car myself, I know how scary it can be to approach your insurance agent and tell them about mods.

Especially performance mods. It doesn't have to go far before you start worrying ...

Keep it simple and do a basic intake, shortie headers and catback to help get the motor breathing right.

Will the company freak out and cancel you? What about serious performance mods like a turbo? A blower? A different motor? Suspension? Forget about the go-fast stuff:

What about that paint job? Those wheels? The typical advice you get on internet forums is to shut up about it and keep your fingers crossed.

This is what most people do. Why? Because most insurance companies don't want anything to do with modded cars and everybody knows it.

But if the car is not a daily driver and considered collectible (now or in the future), there's a fix for this problem.

Here at Leland-West we advertise ourselves as "Mod Friendly".

That means we want to know about modifications. Not so we can find a way to say "no", but so we can insure the auto with the mods included.

Old habits are hard to break. I can't count the number of times I have seen photos of an applicant's car with telltales the car isn't quite bone stock: Extra gauges on the dash.

A roll cage that is almost but not quite hidden by the camera angle. Holding the camera high in the back to help hide the tubbed out rear end (pssst... we saw the skinnies up front, too).

We even had a guy once who figured we wouldn't recognize the meaning of a parachute pack and wheelie bars on the back bumper.

External fuel cutoff switch? Yup we know what those mean, too. Its all OK, and thats a real shock to some people.

The real deal is the use of the automobile has to be within our pleasure-use guidelines, and the car can't be a 50-footer (it looks great... from 50 feet away).

The car has to be well-taken care of. Sure its going to cost a few bucks more if you come clean.

The car is going to get a higher rate for being modified. And no, on a modified car the Agreed Value isn't every dime you threw into it (We all know our toys are money pits) ...

But the car is covered. With the insurance mods. For reals. At an Agreed Value you could never hope for on a standard policy.

Make no mistake: For track cars, if you wad it up on track its your problem, just like it is on pretty much every other antique car insurance policy. Nothing has changed there.

But just having performance mods aren't a disqualifier, and you can actually get them covered. Speaking of fibbing to your insurance company, here is a BIG reason why you should never ever do it: Should I Report My Car's Mods?