ZURICH (Reuters) - Damage costs from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters fell 16 percent in the first half of 2013 to $56 billion, preliminary data from Swiss Re showed on Wednesday, despite June's heavy flooding in Europe.

Global insurers covered $20 billion of the costs, with natural catastrophes, such as the European floods and U.S. tornado damage, accounting for $17 billion of claims, and man-made disasters - such as industrial accidents - $3 billion.

Insured flood losses hit $8 billion in the first half, which makes 2013 the second most expensive year already in terms of flood claims. Claims related to the 2011 Thai floods were $16 billion, Swiss Re said.

Insured losses from floods peaked in Canada at $2 billion due to rain and flooding in Alberta in June.

Last year, the world's No. 2 reinsurer said the insurance industry should team up with government agencies to help provide suitable flood protection and offset financial risk.

(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by Louise Ireland)